CASES OF lung cancer where the disease is detected early have risen by almost a quarter after a special campaign featuring adverts with football legend Sir Alex Ferguson.
The former Manchester United manager, who lost both his parents to lung cancer, played a starring role in the Scottish Government’s Detect Cancer Early programme.
Since it was launched, the number of patients who have lung cancer detected at the earliest stage - stage one - has increased by 24.7%, according to the government.
Sufferers are 20 times more likely to survive the disease if it is picked up before it reaches an advanced stage, with people who have had a cough for three weeks or more urged to visit their GP for checks.
Health Secretary Shona Robison said: “The earlier we detect cancer, the higher the chance of survival.
“We need to get the message out loud and clear that the earlier you come forward to get checked or be screened, the better. It could save your life.
“That is why this increase in early detection of lung cancer is important news. The support and involvement of Sir Alex Ferguson helps show what a difference this kind of clear messaging can make.”
The Health Secretary also stressed the “generalised fear of ‘the Big C’ needs to be addressed” in a bid to catch more cases early.
Ms Robison said: “Our new initiative, which I launched in August of this year, aims to turn ‘the Big C’ into ‘the wee c’ by showing all the positive work taking place across Scotland - from researchers to fundraisers - to bring cancer down to size.
“We will go on investing in early detection and campaigns like this with the clear aim of boosting early detection and improving survival rates even further.”