New figures show that more Scots are living with and beating cancer.
Taking age into account, cancer mortality has decreased by 12 per cent among men and six per cent among women in the last ten years.
Of the cancers that cause the most mortality, the largest fall for men was in lung cancer – 27 per cent. For women that largest fall was in stomach cancer – 33 per cent.
The number of cancer cases (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer) has increased between 2001 and 2002 from 25,788 to 25,999.
Welcoming the figures, Health Minister Andy Kerr said: "With some of the best treatment in the world, more and more Scots are living with and beating cancer.
"The figures out today show that while the number of new cancer cases increased between 2001 and 2002, fewer Scots are dying from the disease.
"We are on track to achieve our target of reducing premature cancer deaths by 20 per cent by 2010.
"Cancer treatment in Scotland is as good as anywhere in the world - with new drugs and state of the art radiotherapy equipment in all of our cancer centres.
"It is particularly pleasing to see the drop in lung cancer deaths among men. The biggest cancer killer among men is still lung cancer.
"We have not seen the same decrease in lung cancer rates for women. This is largely due to the greater reduction in smoking among men compared to women over the past 30 years.
"Scotland will be the first part of the UK to become completely smoke free in all enclosed public places from 26 March 2006.
"Our country's health and productivity will improve and the incidence of smoking-related diseases will fall."