CANCER Research UK statistics show that every single day in Scotland, an average of 94 people are diagnosed with the disease.

It is something that impacts every family. We all have a story.

Last week, my colleagues Councillor Kevin Lalley and Bailie Patricia Ferguson hosted an event in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.

The Macmillan Coffee Morning has become a feature of many workplaces, community halls, and households, with thousands of people every year coming together to raise funds to support the services the charity provides.

Patricia and Kevin are both cancer survivors and have always been willing to talk about their own experiences, totally committed to raising awareness and dedicated to doing what they can to help those organisations that step up to support people, often at the most difficult of times.

Sharing their own stories will help others. It will make people think and also give hope.

Until 2020, cancer hadn’t impacted my family. I knew people who had scares and others who had survived but those incidences were both before I was born.

Then, in early 2020, just as we were getting to grips with lockdown, my grandad was diagnosed and sadly passed away just a few months later.

It is now almost three years to the day that happened.

I saw firsthand how wonderful our district nurses are and how the support offered by charities such as Marie Curie makes a big difference.

Very quickly, they stepped in to give assistance to my grandad and were also there for my nan.

I’ll forever be grateful to them for the compassion and empathy they show on a daily basis. It made me understand why people say it takes a special type of person to go into that career.

The number of cancer cases in Scotland is rising. Cancer Research UK states that this will "place an unprecedented burden on an already stretched healthcare system,” whether that means delays in results to key diagnostic tests or an impact on national screening programmes.

Cancer services are struggling with demand. It’s hard not to think we are on the cusp of a crisis.

I know our dedicated NHS staff are doing all they can in increasingly challenging circumstances. We need to acknowledge that and work to address their own concerns.

When cancer is discussed by politicians, we often hear statistics but let’s never forget the people behind them.

Cancer is the leading cause of death in Scotland but, by listening to experts, working with organisations like those I’ve mentioned, and acting on their asks, we can beat this disease.