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SNP is failing when it comes to men’s most common cancer

More than half of men who need urgent treatment for Scotland’s most common male cancer are waiting beyond the two-month target window.

New figures have revealed that 56.2% of men had to wait more than 62 days in the last three months from being referred on suspicion of prostate cancer to that treatment beginning.

It is the worst performance for any cancer in the country when it comes to treating patients within the agreed target timeframe.

It is also the worst waiting time in years for prostate cancer, including when many services were paused during the pandemic.

Prostate cancer kills around 1,000 men a year in Scotland.

These Public Health Scotland statistics show a total of 617 men were given an urgent prostate cancer referral in the quarter to September.

Pro-UK campaigners Scotland in Union said the declining performance was the latest indictment of the SNP-Green government’s handling of the NHS.

Pamela Nash, chief executive of Scotland in Union, said:

“It’s well-known that prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, and the Scottish Government itself has taken part in awareness campaigns for precisely that reason.

“Yet when it comes to treating it, the performance is absolutely dire.

“More than half of those diagnosed who need this treatment urgently are waiting too long.

“That will cost lives and inflict misery on families right across Scotland.

“This is more evidence that our NHS is being failed by a nationalist government which has simply been too distracted to run the health service properly.

“Families across the country deserve far better than this, and the Scottish Government should be urgently explaining how it is going to radically improve this figure before more men lose their lives.

“When people say they want the SNP to focus on things that really matter, this is the kind of thing they mean.”


The figures were published by Public Health Scotland - see here.

To access these statistics, visit Table 4 (trends chart) and open tab B.

It shows the following “performance against the 62-day standard from receipt of an urgent referral with suspicion of cancer to first cancer treatment” for prostate cancer patients by quarter.

September 2022 – 43.8 per cent

June 2022 – 50.9 per cent

March 2022 – 48 per cent

December 2021 – 53.5 per cent

September 2021 – 59.9 per cent

June 2021 – 52.9 per cent

March 2021 – 47.4 per cent

December 2020 – 61 per cent

September 2020 – 56.5 per cent

June 2020 – 50.7 per cent

March 2020 – 53.5 per cent

December 2019 – 59.3 per cent

September 2019 – 57 per cent

June 2019 – 57.1 per cent

Prostate cancer is the most common male cancer, killing around 1,000 Scots per year - See here.


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