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Chamber and committees

Question reference: S6W-25923

  • Asked by: Paul Sweeney, MSP for Glasgow, Scottish Labour
  • Date lodged: 29 February 2024
  • Current status: Answered by Neil Gray on 14 March 2024


To ask the Scottish Government what steps it is taking to increase awareness of the signs and symptoms of cancer among any demographics that may be less likely to seek medical help or engage with clinical services.


We know that the earlier cancer is diagnosed the easier it is to treat and even cure which is why we continue to invest in our Detect Cancer Earlier (DCE) Programme. The Programme takes a whole-systems approach to earlier detection and encompasses primary care, secondary care, public education, data, innovation and screening.

The DCE Programme works closely with the Scottish Cancer Coalition, to support awareness raising efforts and uses social channels to promote joint content and messages where possible.

Detect Cancer Earlier’s latest public campaign – Be The Early Bird - launched on
‎ 6 March 2023 and ran for four weeks, aiming to reduce fear of cancer and empower those with possible symptoms to act early. Following successful independent evaluation, the campaign re-ran in September 2023 to prompt health-seeking behaviour, targeting those aged 40+ from areas of deprivation.

In parallel to the campaign, a DCE roadshow visited communities across Scotland to reinforce key messages – this resulted in over 6,700 engagements with the target audience.