An East Renfrewshire politician has shared his own experience of a "significant prostate cancer concern" to encourage other men to get symptoms checked.

Jackson Carlaw received applause from across the chamber as he spoke about his health scare in the Scottish Parliament today.

The Eastwood MSP replaced Ruth Davidson as leader of the Scottish Conservatives in August 2019 before stepping down in July 2020.

Mr Carlaw spoke about statistics released by Prostate Cancer which show 35% of men are only diagnosed when the disease is classed as stage four – where the cancer has spread to another part of the body.

He said his own health concern, which took place during the Covid pandemic, contributed to decisions in his "personal and professional life."

"Being candid, can I admit to a significant prostate cancer concern at the start of the pandemic which had a bearing on decisions I made in my personal and professional life at the time," he said.

"Can I say, notwithstanding that, notwithstanding the strict constraints of the pandemic, the treatment I received was comprehensive, professional and timely.

"I think it's important, and I hope the Cabinet Secretary would agree with me, that the key thing is for men who have any of the symptoms associated with prostate cancer not to be concerned about any embarrassment that they may feel arising from that but to present themselves to the health service at the earliest possible opportunity.

"By doing that, they can – like me – hopefully expect to survive safely."

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said: "I absolutely applaud and am grateful to Jackson Carlaw for sharing his own personal story.

"He doesn't owe that to anybody but, by doing so, I hope others who are listening are hearing what Jackson Carlaw has had to say."