Scottish health secretary Nicola Sturgeon (pictured, right) has said the NHS north of the border must make sure it listens to patients and understands their needs.
In her keynote address at a conference in Stirling on the future of cancer care in the country, she said: "All too often people don't know how to get involved or to have their say about what happens to them.
"This must change. If NHS Scotland is to be the modern and effective service of our vision, it must be clear to everyone that as an organisation it listens to and understands what people repeatedly say they need and what is important to them."
The event, at the UK's only cancer care research centre at Stirling University, focused on how people view and experience the disease.
It offered health professionals and people affected by cancer the chance to discuss the centre's recent three-year study of patient experiences.
Professor Nora Kearney, director of the Cancer Care Research Centre, said: "Through bringing together patients, carers, health professionals and policy makers, we provide an opportunity for everyone to better understand the importance of listening to and learning from people affected by cancer."