Urgent action is required to boost cancer detection rates as new figures revealed bowel cancer screening rates have fallen.
Bowel cancer screening has fallen to 56.5% of those eligible in 2014/15. This follows recent statistics which revealed that the Scottish Government has missed a flagship target for early detection of cancer.
People from more deprived backgrounds were least likely to take advantage of bowel cancer screening.
The Scottish Government recognise there is a problem - but these figures underline the scale of the challenge we face to boost early detection rates. Early detection saves lives but the target for early cancer diagnosis has been missed by a long way.
We need to ensure that people are aware of the support that is available
We also know Scots from the most deprived backgrounds are less likely to take advantage of the screening that is available. This health inequality is costing lives. We need to understand why it is happening and what can be done to close the gap.
How quickly someone is diagnosed with cancer and receives treatment should not depend on their background or bank balance.