Briggs Commends Education for Young People on Cancer Prevention

News Release from Miles Briggs MSP:

Briggs Commends Education for Young People on Cancer Prevention

It is particularly relevant during 2018 Year of Young People to focus on the education of young people on lifestyle choices that can significantly risk the chance of getting cancer.

The Teenager Cancer Trust’s education and awareness programme is now able to reach 80% of secondary schools in Scotland and Miles supports their aim to achieve 100% coverage.

Research by the University of Stirling indicates the effectiveness of this programme in terms of three times as many young people talking to others about cancer after having taken part in it. 

Educating our young people about cancer is vital, both for them to be able to identify the warning signs of cancer and so improve early diagnosis, and to make the informed lifestyle choices that will help minimise preventable cancers through-out their lives.

Cancer Research UK published research last week which suggested around 13,000 cases of cancer each year in Scotland could be prevented through lifestyle changes.

Excess weight is now the biggest cause of preventable cancer after smoking and one in twenty cancers could be prevented by maintaining a healthy weight.

Cancer is relatively rare in children accounting for less than 1% of all cancers.

This equates to around 150 new cases in Scotland every year. 

The development of the virtual service for children and young people with a diagnosis of cancer is incredibly important and provides the opportunity for young people to access age specific information and videos which gives them ownership of their health, it will provide an opportunity for them to share information on their cancer and treatment with friends.

Miles Briggs comments:

“While 1 in 2 of our young people may now expect to get some form of cancer at some stage in their life, we really need to get across and emphasise the positive message that 40% of cancers are preventable.

“It may not be an easy discussion to have with a young person but encouraging young people to be familiar with their bodies, and to keep an eye out for any signs or symptoms that could indicate something is wrong is incredibly important and encouraging anyone who notices these signs to go and see their GP and share their concerns is vital.

“Educating our young people about how cancers can be prevented through balanced diets, not smoking, undertaking physical activity and avoiding excessive alcohol consumption can help get this message across to all age groups as students are then able to speak to their parents and grandparents about the dangers of their unhealthy choices.

“I think the development of Managed Service Network can dramatically help improve young people’s experience of cancer as well as helping them to be able to speak to their friends and peers about their cancer journey and can present a real opportunity to help develop the future programmes which can empower young people to take control of their own health.”



*Please find below motion for debate by Rona Mackay.

Motion S5M-11056: Rona Mackay, Strathkelvin and Bearsden, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 15/03/2018

Cancer Awareness for Young People
That the Parliament understands that 40% of cancers in adulthood are preventable; notes the view therefore that there is a need to make sure that every young person is educated about cancerous signs and symptoms; commends the vital work carried out already by Teenage Cancer Trust through its Education and Awareness programme in schools to empower young people to take control of their own health, and notes the calls for more to be done to protect the next generation and for Members to work together to ensure that every school in Scotland, including in the Strathkelvin and Bearsden constituency, can help pupils to receive the cancer education that they need, particularly with 2018 being the Year of Young People.

Supported by: Kenneth Gibson, Ruth Maguire, Joan McAlpine, Graeme Dey, Richard Lyle, Sandra White, Ash Denham, Alex Cole-Hamilton, David Torrance, Bill Kidd, Clare Haughey, Christina McKelvie, John Mason, Stuart McMillan, Fulton MacGregor, Angus MacDonald, Jeremy Balfour, Mark McDonald, Ross Greer, Tom Arthur, Jackson Carlaw, Ivan McKee, Miles Briggs, Clare Adamson, Stewart Stevenson

Current Status: Achieved Cross Party Support

Miles Briggs