MSP demands action to boost cancer check uptake

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MORE needs to be done to increase the uptake of vital cancer checks in Lothian, an MSP has said.

As the Evening News reported yesterday, the latest figures show that uptake rates of bowel, breast and cervical cancer screening are below the Scottish average in the region.

Bowel cancer screening is at 48.9 per cent, compared to a Scottish rate of 51 per cent. The cervical cancer uptake rate is 76.7 per cent, two per cent below the rest of Scotland, while breast cancer screening is at 71.8 per cent, compared to 74.9 per cent nationally.

Labour’s Sarah Boyack said: “Although the Lothian performance doesn’t lag far behind the national average, it is still behind.

“Given the evidence that people from less affluent backgrounds are less likely to gain access to screening, much more needs to be done to encourage people to come forward. This needs to be addressed in national and local publicity.”

Lothian health chiefs hope a new national drive aimed at increasing participation in the bowel cancer screening programme, which was launched yesterday, will have a positive impact.

A new TV advert features the voice of Still Game star Ford Kiernan speaking to a man on the toilet, encouraging him to take the screening test.