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Preparing for the roundtable with the Scottish Government’s Cancer Policy Team

Last Monday we met with our partners in the Less Survivable Cancers Taskforce (LSCT), in preparation for a virtual roundtable with the Scottish Government’s Cancer Policy team next week.

Less survivable cancers (LSCs) account for just over one in four of all cancer diagnoses in the UK but nearly half of all deaths.

The five-year survival rate for people with LSCs in Scotland is just 16%, compared to 53% for more survivable cancers. Whereas survival has improved considerably in the last 45 years for most cancers, the survival rate for cancers in the pancreas, brain, liver, lung, oesophagus and stomach still languish behind throughout the UK.

This roundtable will take place by videoconference on Monday 06 July and will bring the Scottish Cancer Policy Team together with LSCT members, patient representatives and key clinicians to discuss how LSCs can be prioritised as services are re-established following the COVID-19 outbreak and in the Scottish Government’s long term strategy for cancer.

As a key member of the LSCT board, we’re eager to drive forward the discussion around improving early diagnosis and developing treatment pathways for less survivable cancers, which will be the focus of the roundtable.

The Scottish Government have already committed to making progress on LSCs, and they published specific actions earlier this year ahead of the new strategy.

This provides a solid foundation for our roundtable discussion to drive meaningful change and ultimately improve outcomes for the brain tumour and LSCs communities in Scotland. We are delighted to be hearing from experts by experience across the brain tumour patient and clinical communities in Scotland, to recommend areas for improvement and to drive urgently needed change for brain tumour patients.

Hayley Smith, whose husband Matthew is currently living with a glioblastoma brain tumour, and an ambassador for The Brain Tumour Charity, welcomes this drive to put LSCs at the forefront of the agenda.

Hayley said: “Scotland now has research teams from all over the world and all are experts in their fields. It’s so promising to know that we have the best of the best looking into new drugs and treatments”

We understand that our goals are ambitious, but by joining together, we know that we can reach them faster. What all members of the LSCT share is a sense of injustice that these diseases have been left behind, particularly during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, and a determined desire to change this.

We are proud to be at the forefront of the fight against brain tumours and are calling on the Scottish Government to step up because only together can we keep up the momentum for crucial change to improve the lives of everyone impacted by a brain tumour.

We will report back from the outcomes of the meeting next Monday.

If you live in Scotland, your story will help others affected. Find out how here

Find out more about our campaigning work and how you can be involved here