With new figures showing that more people than ever before are surviving cancer, local MSP Jackie Baillie has praised the dedication of MacMillan volunteers in Dumbarton, Vale of Leven and Helensburgh and Lomond who provide care and support for people in need.
MacMillan Cancer Support released figures this week revealing an 18% increase in the number of people with cancer living in Scotland. It is estimated that 220,000 people have been diagnosed with the disease, largely due to improvements in survival and detection, and an ageing population.
Voluntary groups like MacMillan Cancer Support help cancer patients in Dumbarton, Vale of Leven and Helensburgh and Lomond by offering a listening ear, taking them to appointments, and giving them a hand with shopping. The invaluable service they provide and the dedication of local volunteers can be a lifeline for patients.
However MacMillan has warned that the NHS is struggling to cope with the rise in the number of people surviving cancer.
Janice Preston, head of Macmillan in Scotland said:
“The current NHS system was not set up to deal with the needs of such a huge number of people who have survived cancer but who often continue to require considerable support.
“It is vital the Scottish government, NHS and social care services use the forthcoming integration of health and social care to recognise the scale of the challenge and commit to making the big changes needed to meet it.”
“Volunteers in Dumbarton, Vale of Leven and Helensburgh deserve credit for giving up their own time to help those affected by cancer. The fact that more people are surviving cancer is very welcome news but it does mean that charities like MacMillan are facing ever-increasing pressure.
“As more and more people survive cancer, the NHS is struggling to deal with the demand and the SNP Government must put the resources in place to ensure that patients have adequate support once treatment ends