Scotland Launches Cancer Care Strategy for Children and Young People

Pavankumar Kamat

September 27, 2021

The Scottish Government has introduced a 5-year strategy for delivering top-class cancer care for children and young people.

The strategy named 'Collaborative and Compassionate Cancer Care: Cancer Strategy for Children and Young People in Scotland 2021-2026' was recently inaugurated by Scotland's Health Secretary Humza Yousaf. It aims to provide specialist, multidisciplinary and age-appropriate service for young cancer patients and survivors across Scotland.

Cancer remains a leading cause of mortality in children aged one to nine years. An estimated 330 children and young adults under the age of 25 years in Scotland receive a diagnosis of cancer each year. The strategy has been developed by the Managed Service Network for Children and Young People with Cancer, which was established in 2012 to ensure equitable and localized access to specialist services for children and young adults with cancer.

The strategy supported by funding of ~£6 million has drawn out several key priorities for the next five years. Some of these include:

  • Funding genetic testing to facilitate individualized treatment.

  • Extending the Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-Cell therapy to teens and young adults.

  • Establishing a paediatric national molecular radiotherapy service.

  • Funding a dedicated health workforce to provide paediatric cancer care.

  • Boosting the profile of supported care services and holistic care.

  • Establishing a single centre of excellence delivering radiotherapy to improve survival among children with cancer

Mr Yousaf said: "Receiving a cancer diagnosis is never easy, but receiving one at such a young age is especially difficult. We know that diagnosis has come a long way, with survival rates remaining stable for children and young people. However there is still more we can do to support this age group to live long, healthy and happy lives."

This article originally appeared on Univadis, part of the Medscape Professional Network.

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