MSP vows to support breast cancer charity

MSP Alex Fergusson and Fiona Mackinnon
MSP Alex Fergusson and Fiona Mackinnon

MSP Alex Fergusson has pledged his support to help Breast Cancer Now stop women in Galloway and West Dumfries dying from breast cancer.

At a Scottish Parliamentary event hosted by Breast Cancer Now, to mark the start of Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October), Mr Fergusson joined fellow parliamentarians from across Scotland to meet with scientists, campaigners and people affected by breast cancer in a bid to tackle the disease which takes the lives of 1,000 Scots every year.

Mr Fergusson said: “Survival rates for breast cancer have increased dramatically, but that doesn’t mean it is under control.

“More people are being diagnosed with the disease and almost 1,000 women lose their lives to breast cancer in Scotland each year, action is required now.

“Breast Cancer Now is currently investing £1.6 million in Scottish research to find ways to treat, prevent and stop breast cancer and I’m delighted to give my backing to such important work.

“I will do my best to raise awareness of breast cancer, promoting the signs and symptoms of the disease and encouraging others across Galloway and West Dumfries to get involved too.

“Everyone has a part to play to ensure that one day every woman who develops breast cancer will live.”

Pledges like this from parliamentarians form part of Breast Cancer Now’s broad portfolio of work around a central aim of stopping women dying from breast cancer by 2050.

Launched in June 2015, Breast Cancer Now believes that research holds the key to developing new ways to prevent, detect and ultimately stop breast cancer.

The charity currently invests £1.6 million in cutting-edge Scottish research, funding nine research projects across the country.

Mary Allison, Director for Scotland at Breast Cancer Now said, “It’s great to have Alex Fergusson MSP backing our ambition to stop women dying from breast cancer.

“Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK and, this year, more than 4,600 women in Scotland will be told that they have the disease. It’s a growing problem that needs our attention and commitment, so we’re going to ask the big questions, and work tirelessly to answer them.

“By standing together with politicians, scientists, fundraisers and campaigners we will find new ways to prevent, detect and treat breast cancer so that by 2050 this disease will no longer take the lives of those we love.”

Edinburgh mum of four, Lesley Brown, is living with secondary breast cancer. She gave a speech at the Scottish Parliamentary event to tell her story.

She said, “One day while out jogging I noticed I was breathless, and a week or so later I developed a dry cough.  I went to my GP and he sent me for a chest X-ray. 

“A CT scan quickly followed, and it was after that that my life fell apart – I was told I had primary breast cancer that had spread not only to my lungs, but also to my liver and bones.

“The shock at being told, out of the blue, that you have incurable cancer is indescribable.

I was devastated again, when I heard in April that the cancer was active again in my lungs, and that it had also spread to my brain.

“I know that breast cancer will beat me one day but I want to help to ensure that other women, and their families, will not have to face what I’m going through.”