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Cancer

It is estimated that 1 in 3 people in Scotland will develop some form of cancer during their lifetime.

This is a wide ranging topic and there are many different types of cancer. Some are more likely to occur in females e.g. cervical and breast cancer while others in men e.g. prostate cancer.

Many forms of cancer can now be successfully treated if they are identified in their early stages and we now have screening for the commonly occurring breast, bowel and cervical cancers.

Some cancers such as melanoma (skin cancer) may be prevented by health protection measures such as avoiding the sun and using sunscreens. Smoking cessation remains one of the most important health improvement measures to avoid developing cancer.

For more information visit

  • Breast Cancer Care providing nformation and assistance for those affected by breast cancer. Freephone Helpline 0808 800 6000 (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, Sat 9am-2pm) Textphone 0808 800 6001  
  • Cancer Support Scotland  Cancer Support Scotland offers counselling, support groups and complementary therapies to anyone affected by cancer, including family members and carers: before, during and after treatment.
  • Sun Smart   This Cancer Research UK website provides a wealth of information including, information on skin cancer, sunburn and how it damages your skin, advice on protective measures to take - applying sunscreen, staying in the shade, wearing protective clothing and sunglasses, and advice on protecting children from the sun.    
  • British Lung Foundation provides advice on all diseases affecting the lungs including lung cancer. Helpline: 08458 505020 (Mon-Fri 10am to 6pm)
  • Leukaemia Care provides support for people with leukaemia, lymphomas and related disorders. Tel: 01905 755977. Helpline: 0800 169 6680
  • Lymphoma Association provides support for those affected by Hodgkin’s disease and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Tel. Helpline no: 0808 808 5555 Mon-Thurs 9am-6pm, Fri 9am-5pm  
  • Macmillan Cancer Support is a national charity providing expert care and support for people living with cancer. Tel. Helpline: 0808 808 0000
  • Maggies Centre provides support organisation for those affected by cancer. One of the centres is in Glasgow.   
  • Marie Curie Cancer Care. Dedicated to the cure of people affected by cancer and the enhancement of their quality of life through its caring services, research and education. Telephone: 0800 716146   
  • Oesophageal Patients Association Telephone: 0121 704 9860 (Mon - Fri 9am - 5pm)
  • Orchid: Fighting Male Cancer  Good range of leaflets on testicular and prostate cancer.
  • The Prostate Cancer Charity  Telephone:  Helpline: 0800 0748383 (Mon - Fri 10 am -4 pm, late night Wed 7 - 9pm)  

Key points for community pharmacy

  • Signpost patients to appropriate support organisations.
  • Be alert to red flag symptoms such as a persistent cough which might suggest a patient should be referred to their GP for investigation.
  • Encourage patient’s participation in national screening programmes e.g. cervical screening whenever possible.
  • Only sell SPF 15 sun protection products