Why politicians need to prepare for the challenges of cancer in 2020

Cancer Research UK

Today, Friday September 22nd, sees politicians and policy-makers, cancer clinicians, patients and researchers come together for the fifth Scotland Against Cancer Conference.

With less than a year to go until the Parliamentary elections, this is Scotland’s most high profile cancer conference before politicians go to the country. Taking place at the Thistle Hotel in Glasgow, this year’s event will provide a vital forum for discussing cancer policy and cancer services and for making recommendations on how Scotland can prepare itself for the challenges of cancer up to 2020 and beyond.

The Scotland Against Cancer Conference is a major event in the Scottish cancer community’s calendar. In addition to active support from the influential Cross Party Group on Cancer in the Scottish Parliament, it has an impressive line-up of keynote speakers. These include Andy Kerr MSP, Minister for Health and Community Care, and Sir David Carter, Chairman of the Health Foundation & Trustee of Cancer Research UK. MSPs from all parties will also be contributing to the day.

Cancer Research UK Scotland will use the Conference’s recommendations to help inform its own manifesto for the election. This will be published in the New Year and circulated widely to the different political parties.

Chief Executive of Cancer Research UK, Professor Alex Markham, said: "I’m delighted that Cancer Research UK Scotland, in collaboration with some of Scotland’s major cancer organisations, is hosting the most important cancer conference this side of next year’s Parliamentary elections.

"When Scotland decided to make all workplaces smoke-free, it didn’t just strike a blow for common sense. It stole a march on the rest of the UK in saving lives.

"An ageing population, the resulting rise in cancer incidence, advances in research and changes in how treatment is most effectively provided all make long-term strategic planning essential."

Professor Markham ends: "This Conference is a fantastic opportunity for politicians of all colours to listen to Scotland’s cancer community and to respond to Cancer Research UK’s ‘Cancer 2020’ campaign by committing to plan now for how they’re going to meet the cancer challenges of the future."

David Davidson MSP and Ken Macintosh MSP, Co-conveners of the Scottish Parliament’s Cross Party Group on Cancer will be chairing the day. They said: "The Cross Party Group is delighted to support the fifth annual Scotland Against Cancer Conference organised by Cancer Research UK Scotland. Scotland Against Cancer plays an important role in influencing political opinion on cancer policy. We look forward greatly to participating in the conference and to the resulting report and recommendations, which will be taken forward by the Cross Party Group."

ENDS

For media inquiries please call Cancer Research UK Scotland’s Public Affairs Officer, Vicky Crichton, on 0131 310 4368 or Senior Press Officer, Angela Kilday, on 07050 267081.

Notes to Editor

Cancer Research UK Scotland is very grateful to our Gold Sponsors, Scottish Cancer Industry Group of the ABPI, and Silver Sponsors, Bayer HealthCare; GlaxoSmithKline; Lilly; Merck; Novartis Oncology; Ortho Biotech; Roche and Sanofi Aventis, for their support, without which the Scotland Against Cancer Conference would not be possible.

Scotland Against Cancer is hosted by Cancer Research UK Scotland, with support from the Cross Party Group in the Scottish Parliament on Cancer, Cancerbackup Scotland, Macmillan Cancer Support, Myeloma UK, Scottish Cancer Industry Group of the ABPI and Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care.

This year, the Conference has an even greater emphasis on delegate participation providing an opportunity for people working in politics, the health professions, patients, health service managers, research scientists and others with an interest in cancer issues to share ideas, best practice and suggestions in a new round table forum.

Discussions forums will look at:

  • What will cancer look like in 2020?
  • The benefits and challenges of a new generation of cancer treatments.
  • Will patients have more choice and power?
  • Does the health service have the capacity for what’s required?
  • How will the patient journey change?