Chief medical officer outlines child cancer care plans

Child with cancer Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption About 150 children in Scotland are diagnosed with cancer every year

New plans to improve treatment for children and young people with cancer have been outlined by Scotland's chief medical officer.

More than 300 people aged under 25 are diagnosed with the disease in Scotland every year.

Dr Catherine Calderwood said she wanted to ensure that children were seen by "the right experts in the right place".

She added that they should be able to access to "after care" services close to their family home.

Speaking to BBC Radio Scotland, Dr Calderwood said: "We want children to be seen by the right experts in the right place and we want them then to have opportunities as far as possible to participate in cancer clinical trials.

"Those are often the way that we can develop our medicines for cancer but also it often gives an opportunity for trial of new treatments for children.

"So we want as many children to be seen where the expertise lies but also to be treated by an expert team."

Image caption The plans has been outlined by chief medical officer Dr Catherine Calderwood

She said that approximately 150 children a year were diagnosed with cancer in Scotland.

About 180 young people aged 16-25 receive similar diagnoses.

She added: "The plan will also have children being able to be cared for, for their after care, closer to their own homes.

"So it doesn't mean children moving and having to stay away from family and friends and their usual activities."

The move has been supported by Cancer Research UK.

Spokesman Gregor McNie said: "We all know that the support networks and the holistic needs of someone who's ill with any disease are always best served close to home.

"So what this strategy tries to do is strike the balance of getting the specialist care from the very best at what they do but the wider care being as close to home as possible."

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