Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP, Angus MacNeil, is backing an appeal from Cancer Research UK to save the lives of more cancer patients, as news comes that one in two people will be diagnosed with the disease at some point in their lives.

The new figure was announced on World Cancer Day (February 4) to highlight the urgent need to bolster public health and cancer services so they can cope with a growing and ageing population and the looming demands for better diagnostics, treatments, and earlier diagnosis.

Mr MacNeil attended a parliamentary event held by Cancer Research UK to mark World Cancer Day and encourage MPs to support their Cross Cancer Out campaign.

World Cancer Day Parliamentary Drop-In

Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP, Angus MacNeil attends a Westminster parliamentary event in support of Cancer Research UK’s ‘Cross Cancer Out’ campaign on World Cancer Day (4th February).

In the run up to the UK General Election, the charity is calling on Westminster candidates to back measures to ensure cancer patients receive the best treatment and are diagnosed early enough for that treatment to make a difference.

Currently, UK cancer survival rates are still lagging behind the best in Europe and too many cancers are diagnosed at an advanced stage, when they are harder to treat successfully.

Cancer Research UK says that support for public awareness campaigns, increasing screening uptake and ensuring equal access to innovative evidence-based treatments are key to saving more lives.

Angus MacNeil MP said:

“We cannot underestimate the devastating impact that cancer will have on people in Na h-Eileanan an Iar now and in the future. The good news is that Cancer Research UK is making huge advances in the battle against the disease.

“But with more than three people diagnosed with cancer every hour in Scotland* and this number set to rise, it’s vital that we detect cancer earlier across the UK.

“I’m backing the Cross Cancer Out campaign, because it’s clear that MPs have a crucial role to play in helping to beat cancer sooner. The political drive to beat the disease must match the pace of progress in research.”

Layla Theiner, Head of Public Affairs at Cancer Research UK, said: “The increase in the lifetime risk of getting cancer is primarily because more people are surviving into old age, when the disease is more common.

“We can’t avoid growing older, but we can prevent a crisis in the future by taking action now to improve cancer survival across the UK.

“Without increased political support we could see the death toll from cancer rising and so early diagnosis and better treatments must be key priorities if we are to save more lives.

“That’s why we’re calling on Westminster MPs and parliamentary candidates from all political parties to commit to ‘Cross Cancer Out’ and help ensure no-one’s life is cut short by this devastating disease.”

For more information and ways to get involved in the campaign, visit or join the conversation on twitter #CrossCancerOut.



*Approximation based on annual figure of around 30,200 cases diagnosed in Scotland in 2011

 About ‘Cross Cancer Out’

Playing on the idea of a ballot paper, Cancer Research UK’s new campaign asks election candidates to help ‘Cross Cancer Out’ by backing a raft of measures to improve cancer survival in the UK.

The charity is calling for determined political action to ensure cancer patients are diagnosed much sooner and have greater access to the best possible treatments including by:

  • Continuing support for campaigns to raise public awareness of the signs and symptoms of cancer;
  • Committing to increase participation in the bowel cancer screening programme;
  • Ensuring equal access to innovative radiotherapy, surgery and effective cancer drugs, including drugs targeted to patients’ tumours.

For more information visit

About Cancer Research UK

Cancer Research UK is the world’s leading cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research.

  • Cancer Research UK’s pioneering work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer has helped save millions of lives.
  • Cancer Research UK receives no government funding for its life-saving research. Every step it makes towards beating cancer relies on every pound donated.
  • Cancer Research UK has been at the heart of the progress that has already seen survival rates in the UK double in the last forty years.
  • Today, two in four people survive cancer. Cancer Research UK’s ambition is to accelerate progress so that three in four people will survive cancer within the next 20 years.
  • Cancer Research UK supports research into all aspects of cancer through the work of over 4,000 scientists, doctors and nurses.
  • Together with its partners and supporters, Cancer Research UK’s vision is to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.

For further information about Cancer Research UK’s work or to find out how to support the charity, please call 0300 123 1022 or visit Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.