Cancer Rates Hit A Record High

About 30,200 people in Scotland are diagnosed with cancer each year, according to a leading charity.

Cancer Research UK said the number of cases has steadily risen over the decades as the population ages. 

Survival rates have doubled in the last 40 years thanks to improvements in prevention, diagnosis and treatment, it says. 

Figures show the number of people being diagnosed with cancer have increased by a more than a quarter (28%) between 1975 and 2011. 

In 1975, around 335 people per 100,000 were diagnosed with the disease, rising to more than 425 per 100,000 in 2011. 

Cancer Research UK released the figures as entries opened for its Race for Life events taking place across Scotland from May to July this year. 

Almost 40,000 women participated last year, raising £2.7 million for cancer research. 

The makers of an anti-cancer drug announced yesterday that a new method of taking Herceptin has been authorised for use in Scotland after the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) recommended the funding of its use on the NHS. 

Patients with the aggressive form of breast cancer known as HER2-positive could benefit from the Herceptin subcutaneous (SC) injection which, given just beneath the skin, can be completed in two to five minutes compared to a 30 to 90-minute intravenous infusion, Roche said.

 Dr Iain MacPherson, clinical senior lecturer in medical oncology at the Beatson Institute for Cancer Research in Glasgow, said: ``Until now, we've always treated patients with Herceptin intravenously, which can be time-consuming and quite intrusive. 

``This new formulation will allow patients to be treated by a simple five minute subcutaneous injection. 

``As well as having advantages for patients, subcutaneous Herceptin could also help free up capacity on busy chemotherapy day units.'' 

James Jopling, director of Breakthrough Breast Cancer in Scotland, said: ``For eligible patients, the option to have their Herceptin administered by injection, rather than through a drip, may appeal to them and we're pleased that this treatment will now be routinely available on the NHS for women in Scotland. 

``Many patients may find a quick injection to be more comfortable than a drip that has to stay in for some time. 

``However, for many reasons, this will not be right for everyone and we believe that intravenous Herceptin should still be available to patients who would prefer it.''