HEALTH bosses are urging the public that the key to beating cancer is: "Don't Get Scared, Get Checked.
Early detection of the disease - the biggest killer of people in the town - is vital to improving chances of survival.
And medical experts revealed that cancer is the number one fear among the public - ahead of debt, knife crime, Alzheimer's disease and losing their job.
Statistics show that more than one in three people will develop some form of cancer during their lifetime, and the number of cases diagnosed has shot up by more than a quarter since the late 1970s.
But the average survival rate for cancer has DOUBLED over the past 30 years.
Now a £30 million programme launched by the Scottish Government will boost survival rates further still by increasing the proportion of Scots with cancer who are diagnosed in the earliest stages of the disease.
The 'Detect Cancer Early' programme is concentrating initially on tackling the three most common cancers in Scotland: breast, bowel and lung.
Health experts say that almost two out of three women with breast cancer now survive the disease beyond 20 years.
While half of patients diagnosed with bowel cancer will survive the disease for at least ten years.
Medical bosses' nationwide "Don't Get Scared, Get Checked" media and marketing blitz provides the facts, figures and the means to help people spot the signs and symptoms of cancer as early as possible.
And the message is clear - acting quickly on the first signs and symptoms of cancer can increase your chances of surviving the disease.
Audrey Birt, chair of the Scottish Cancer Coalition, told the Dumbarton Reporter: "Detecting cancer early is vital for improving the outcomes for the many thousands of men and women diagnosed with cancer each year.
"When a cancer is detected early, the more effective treatment can be."
l Find out more information about cancer and the signs and symptoms by visiting NHS Inform at www.nhsinform.co.uk or by calling 0800 22 44 88.