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£30m scheme to detect cancer early

The Scottish parliament has published a new £30m scheme to increase the number of people diagnosed with cancer in the early stages by a quarter.

Over 300 lives a year could be saved by the end of the parliamentary term under the draft Detect Cancer Early Implementation Plan, which will initially focus on tackling breast, bowel and lung cancer, according to Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon.

The new plan aims to improve the fight against cancer by making the public aware of national screening programmes to increase participation in these, as well as raising awareness of early signs and symptoms of cancer to encourage people to seek help earlier.

The scheme will also focus on promoting earlier referral by GPs.

Ms Sturgeon said: "By diagnosing and detecting cancer earlier, we can treat patients when their general health is better and when less aggressive treatment may be required than if the cancer had spread. This will improve survival and reap benefits for patients, their families and all of Scotland."

Copyright Press Association 2011