Monica Lennon MSP meets with rare cancer charity Sarcoma UK to discuss the importance of early diagnosis in saving lives

Monica Lennon MSP for Central Scotland has praised Sarcoma UK for work the charity is doing to improve the speed at which sarcoma cancer is diagnosed in Scotland.

Sarcomas are uncommon cancers that can affect any part of the body, on the inside or outside, including the muscle, bone, tendons, blood vessels and fatty tissues. 15 people are diagnosed with sarcoma every day in the UK.

Monica said ‘Only 1 in 4 people know what sarcoma is, so I want to help raise local awareness of this rare cancer to help boost survival rates.

“More needs to be done to improve the speed and accuracy at which sarcoma is diagnosed. At the Scottish Parliament, I met with a young man whose wife had died of sarcoma cancer before her 30th birthday. It was an extremely moving encounter and has motivated me to raise awareness. If 3 out of 4 of us don’t know what sarcoma is, we will not know the symptoms and that could be deadly.

“It’s great to see this vital charity raising public awareness about sarcoma and its symptoms, while funding vital research into better treatments and supporting patients and loved ones through their Sarcoma UK Support Line, 0808 801 0401.”

Richard Davidson, CEO of Sarcoma UK, said:

“Early diagnosis is one of the key drivers for improving survival, and through discussions with supporters and clinicians, academic research and survey results, we have so far found three key challenges to diagnosis: public awareness, healthcare professional awareness, and the diagnostic pathway.

“Sarcoma UK welcomes the support of Monica Lennon MSP in boosting public awareness of sarcoma and putting early diagnosis on the agenda in Scotland.”

Sarcoma UK is a national charity that funds vital research, offers support for anyone affected by sarcoma cancer and campaigns for better treatments. It is the only cancer charity in the UK focusing on all types of sarcoma.

The later a sarcoma is diagnosed, the less likely someone is to survive. Sarcoma patients face hurdles at almost every stage of their diagnosis, from GP awareness, scanning, delays, and getting referred to a specialist centre. Initial diagnosis is often inaccurate and compared to other more common cancers, fewer treatment options are available. This means that currently only 55% of sarcoma patients live beyond five years.

It’s essential that if you have any of the signs and symptoms of sarcoma you contact your GP. These are:

  • A lump which is growing, changing, or bigger than a golf ball
  • Swelling, tenderness or pain in or around the bone which may come and go and may be worse at night
  • Stomach pain, feeling sick, loss of appetite or feeling full after eating only a small amount of food
  • Blood in either your poo or vomit

Sarcoma UK Support Line experts are there for every person affected by sarcoma. Talk to them or email for information and support. Phone: 0808 801 0401. Email:  

About Sarcoma UK:

Sarcoma UK is a national charity that funds vital research, offers support for anyone affected by sarcoma and campaigns for better treatments. It is now one of the biggest funders of sarcoma research in the UK, having invested more than £4.29 million to 63 research projects to date (as of July 2019). Sarcoma UK has helped more than 1400 individuals who use our support services an average of three times since we launched it in February 2016.