Yesterday saw the launch of the Less Survivable Cancers Taskforce to an audience of members of the Scottish Parliament in Holyrood, Edinburgh
Great improvements have been made in common cancer care during recent decades, but survival rates for cancers in the pancreas, liver, lung, oesophagus, stomach and brain still languish behind in Scotland and throughout the UK.
People in Scotland diagnosed with one of the 14 more survivable cancers have a 67% chance on average of living five years or more.
For the six less survivable cancers that figure plunges to 12%. That's a shocking gap of 55% between surviving for five years with a less and more survivable cancer in Scotland.
We need to take action on these less survivable cancers now. The Taskforce is made up of Pancreatic Cancer UK, the British Liver Trust, The Brain Tumour Charity, Action Against Heartburn and Core.
We believe it is time to pull these diseases out of the legacy of neglect where they have been left to languish too long.
In our strategy we made a commitment to be united in our battle to defeat brain tumours and collaborate to influence change.
As part of the Less Survivable Cancers Taskforce we can tell a new story, about a group of cancers which have been left behind and for which there are collective problems and potential solutions.
We think politicians and policy makers will respond positively if they know that their actions can make a difference across a number of cancers."
The Taskforce will focus on issues such as late diagnosis, patient access to clinical trials, investment in research and a lack of Government-backed targets to improve survival.