A new scheme to provide pre-treatment support to cancer patients is launching across Scotland.
It will give tailored help and advice on exercise, nutrition and mental health to patients, and is backed by £270,000 funding by the Scottish Governement.
The pre-treatment rehabilitation will be offered at all eight Maggie’s centres across the country.
Scotland’s health secretary Humza Yousaf said that cancer treatment has remained a top priority for the Scottish Government through the coronavirus pandemic.
“Prehabilitation enables people with cancer to physically and mentally prepare for treatment by adopting healthy behaviours – with the ultimate aim of improving outcomes for them,” he said.
“It can reduce the length of stay in hospital and post-treatment complications, and improve recovery, fitness, nutritional status, neuro-cognitive function and quality of life.
“This pilot scheme will help us understand how the NHS and Third Sector can work together to help people ahead of their cancer treatment.
“With eight centres across Scotland, working with Maggie’s allows us to meet the needs of cancer patients close to home.
“We want to empower them to get the best possible results from their treatment, and improve their long-term health.
“Cancer treatment has remained a top priority for the Scottish Government and NHS Scotland throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Maggie’s chief executive Dame Laura Lee said the new project will help ensure newly diagnosed people find support sooner.
“We are delighted to be working with the Scottish Government to support people with new cancer diagnoses to understand the benefits of making changes before treatment begins,” she said.
“Gentle exercise, eating well and emotional and psychological support are already aspects of the Maggie’s core programme of support – but this usually comes after the patient has started treatment.
“This new project will ensure newly diagnosed people find support sooner, and will be delivered while working with the NHS as part of their overall care package.”