Scottish Cancer Conference 2019 Programme


Welcome by Chair

Miles Briggs MSP (Cross-Party Group on Cancer)

Scottish Cancer Foundation Lecture

Beating cancer with behavioural science

In this presentation I will discuss novel approaches to increasing uptake of cancer screening programmes to help beat cancer. As a behavioural scientist my research focuses on what people think, feel and do in relation to cancer screening and how we can better support people to engage with cancer screening and reduce inequalities in uptake.

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Keynote address

Michelle Mitchell OBE joined Cancer Research UK in November 2018. Michelle will be addressing the conference to outline her priorities as the Chief Executive of Cancer Research UK and how the Scottish cancer community can work together to address inequalities in cancer incidence, treatment and survival.

Scottish Government address


Breakout sessions

Analysing the diagnosis of cancer across Scotland - the National Cancer Diagnosis Audit

The National Cancer Diagnosis Audit (NCDA) is a UK-wide audit project that seeks to enhance our understanding of patient pathways to cancer diagnosis. It is led by Cancer Research UK, in collaboration with NHS partners, Scottish government, the RCGP and Macmillan Cancer Support. In 2017, the NCDA in Scotland collected data on over 2,000 patients diagnosed with cancer in 2014. Researchers from the Universities of Aberdeen and Edinburgh have studied the data to look at variation in the diagnosis of cancer. In this session, Prof Peter Murchie will provide an overview of the audit findings, including the impact of rurality and other factors on pathways to cancer diagnosis. And Dr Douglas Rigg, a GP from Possilpark Health Centre in Glasgow, will provide an example of how audit was used at cluster level, and how we can improve cancer referral in Scotland.

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Improving the treatment of the Less Survivable Cancers

Currently, in the UK around 70,000 people are diagnosed with one of the less survivable cancers every year. At present, only 14% of people currently live for more than five years after the diagnosis. This session will feature representatives from the Less Survivable Cancer Taskforce to discuss their aim to double survival of the least survivable cancers by 2029. 

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Ensuring access to new medicines across Scotland

In 2016, the Review of Access to New Medicines was published and laid out a range of recommendations for increasing the access patients in Scotland had to new medicines. The Scottish Medicines Consortium and Scottish Government have led significant progress in increasing access to medicine, however, our evolving understanding of cancer as a disease is leading to newer, more personalised treatments such as precision medicines and immunotherapies, but also adding complexity and cost. This session will ask what more can be done to allow as many patients in Scotland to access new medicines whilst maintaining cost-effectiveness of this access for NHS Scotland.

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Patient Speaker

Launch of the Cross Party Group on Cancer report into the priorities for future of Cancer Care in Scotland

At the meeting of the Scottish Parliament’s Cross Party Group (CPG) on Cancer in June 2019, the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, Jeane Freeman MSP, announced a ‘pause’ to the current Scottish Cancer Strategy. This is intended to allow for a review of the current strategy and the chance to identify future priorities. This provides an opportunity for those involved in cancer prevention, services and research to influence the strategic priorities of government.

In response to the pause, the CPG has carried out a short inquiry to gather stakeholders views. The inquiry gathered the views of over 31 member organisations, as well as people affected by cancer which have been used to create a report that lays out a set of priorities for the future of cancer care in Scotland. During this session, the co-convenor of the CPG, Anas Sarwar MSP, will launch the report followed by a panel discussion on the priorities laid out in the report.

Closing remarks

Anas Sarwar MSP