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Detect Cancer Early


NHS National Services Scotland ISD Scotland & NHS National Services Scotland


The main purpose of the published statistics is for the monitoring of the performance towards the LDP standard (increasing the proportion of people diagnosed with stage 1 disease by 25% ). The standard relates to the combined figures for breast, colorectal and lung cancers.

It was decided that a two year average would be more appropriate than using a single year to account for variations between years, this is particularly useful for smaller NHS Boards which may experience large percentage changes from small numbers.

The start of the DCE marketing campaign began in February 2012. The baseline year for the standard was chosen as 2010 and 2011 calendar years combined as this would be the latest years before any impact of the marketing campaigns or social interventions arising from the programme.

The publications present the numbers and proportions (percentages) of patients diagnosed at each cancer stage for the combined figures for breast, colorectal and lung cancers as well as for each cancer individually. The figures are presented for Scotland as well as for the individual NHS Boards and Cancer Networks. In subsequent years after the baseline, the latest figures are compared to the baseline to assess the performance towards the LDP standard. Figures are also presented at Scotland level by deprivation category.

The publication, report and Excel files from the most recent Official Statistics publication can be found on our Publications page.

Main points

In Scotland, for the two-year period 1 January 2015 to 31 December 2016:

  • For people with breast, colorectal or lung cancer, 25.5% were diagnosed at the earliest stage (stage 1). This is a 9.2% increase from the baseline (2010 and 2011 combined) which is below the Local Delivery Plan standard of 25%.
  • For patients diagnosed with breast, colorectal and lung cancer in the most deprived areas of Scotland, the highest proportion were diagnosed at the most advanced stage of disease; stage 4 (29.4%) while for those living in the least deprived areas, the highest proportion were diagnosed at stage 2 (28.6%).
  • There has been an improvement in the recording of the data with fewer patients being recorded with a not known stage of disease - a baseline of 8.4% compared with 5.3% for the latest time-period.

© ISD Scotland 2010
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