Scottish Parliament

Prevent obesity. Prevent cancer.

We’re calling for a comprehensive strategy to tackle obesity in Scotland.

Find out how MSPs can support our efforts to scale down cancer in Scotland.

Contact us

The diagnostic workforce

Early diagnosis is key to a person’s chance of surviving cancer. Diagnosing cancer requires a number of specialist staff. Yet, 1 in 10 diagnostic posts in Scotland are currently unfilled. Read our latest report on the diagnostic workforce in Scotland.

Our position paper

Executive summary

We are the largest funder of cancer research in Scotland, spending over £33 million on research in Scotland each year. We believe that cancer must remain one of the main health priorities for the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government.

Every year around 31,900 people in Scotland are diagnosed with cancer – around 87 people every day. Cancer death rates in Scotland have fallen by a fifth over the last twenty years, and our research has been at the heart of this progress. Yet there is more progress to be made - one in two people in the UK will be diagnosed with some form of cancer during their lifetime.

That is why we work with the 129 Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs), advising them on cancer and research issues and their importance to the health and education agendas. (If you’re an MSP, scroll down for more on how we can help you).

We are also actively involved in local communities across Scotland, where we have over 90 fundraising groups and committees. There are 84 of our charity shops and 4,500 regular volunteers in Scotland, giving up their time to help in the fight against cancer.

We work with MSPs across all political parties to ensure that cancer issues are high on the agenda – and that includes campaigning on issues that will help us beat cancer sooner in Scotland.

Our current campaign is focused on tackling obesity in Scotland.

Obesity is linked to 13 types of cancer. It is the single biggest cause of preventable cancer in Scotland after smoking.

Yet obesity remains a big problem in Scotland: we are the ‘heaviest’ of any of the UK nations and among the ‘heaviest’ of any OECD nation. More than 28% of Scottish children and 65% Scottish adults are either overweight or obese.

That’s why we’re calling for a comprehensive strategy to tackle obesity in Scotland. It should include:  

  • A focus on improving the quality of children and adults’ diet and tackling the wider factors that lead to overconsumption of unhealthy food.
  • Measures to restrict multi-buy discounts and related promotions on food high in sugar, fat and salt across retail outlets in Scotland.
  • Clear and enforceable targets, and interventions that are effectively monitored and evaluated.

If you’re an MSP and want to hear more about how you can support the campaign, email us

Aside from supporting our campaigns, there are a number of ways MSPs can support us in Holyrood and the constituency. For example:

  • Using local cancer statistics when speaking to Health Boards
  • Meeting with the team to discuss our policy priorities
  • Attending our events in Holyrood to show your support
  • Speaking out at debates on important cancer and research issues in Parliament
  • Displaying our health information leaflets in constituency surgeries or constituency offices
  • Reading our blog for information on our work and cancer stories in the news
  • Following us on twitter

We’re keen to work with MSPs and provide them with the tools needed to keep cancer on the agenda.
We can help with:

  • Local cancer statistics by Health Board. We provide tailored local profiles with recommended questions for Health Boards
  • Expert briefings, speaking notes and policy advice
  • Suggesting parliamentary questions
  • Meeting your constituency Cancer Campaigns Ambassador
  • Visits to our shops, research centres, Cancer Awareness roadshows & local Race for Life events

Last reviewed

Scale Down Cancer

Scotland’s obesity levels are the worst in the UK. Make a change and influence the content of Scotland’s new diet and obesity strategy.

Scale Down Cancer

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