Statement from Prostate Scotland on the publication of the Scottish Government’s Cancer Strategy 2023-2033
Prostate Scotland Statement 15 June 2023
‘We welcome the publication of the Scottish Government’s 10-year Cancer Strategy. This is much needed, as there is a need to help increase earlier diagnosis, reduce waiting times and increase the number of clinicians treating cancer. In particular, we very much welcome the emphasis in the strategy on reducing the number of people with later stage cancer and on earlier diagnosis and on greater survival. We look forward to the Cancer Strategy being a catalyst for sustained improvement in diagnosis, support and survival.
For men with prostate cancer, which is the most common cancer in men in Scotland, there is a particular need over the coming decade to have a focus on early diagnosis and greater awareness in order to increase awareness of symptoms and risk factors. This is particularly important in view of the impact of the pandemic which led to a fall in the number of men being diagnosed with prostate cancer[i], but at the same time there is a projected increase in the likely number of men with prostate cancer over the coming years.
We very much welcome the emphasis on earlier diagnosis in the strategy and also the aim to increase the number of Urology Diagnostic Hubs. We were, however, surprised that despite the fact that prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in Scotland, the Action Plan for the strategy for the next three years unfortunately does not include prostate cancer as one of the focused tumour types to be particularly promoted for earlier diagnosis. We hope that prostate cancer will be a focus of the next action plan.
We have seen welcome progress over the past decade in term of the number of people surviving prostate cancer and we hope that this can be further improved over the next 10 years. In addition, it will be important to ensure that further efforts are made to reach to men in the most deprived areas as research[ii] has shown that amongst men with prostate cancer from the most deprived social groups there is a 10% lower survival rate from prostate cancer than for men from the least deprived social group. We are encouraged that it is intended to have targeted Detect Cancer Earlier (DCE) campaigns aimed at those from areas of deprivation.
We also welcome the emphasis in the strategy on outcomes, in making cancer services accessible and on reducing inequalities. We look forward to working with the Scottish Government, men with prostate cancer and with clinicians in helping improve early diagnosis, support and outcomes for men living with prostate cancer and their families’.