The Scottish Government has been urged to improve cancer screening services in the Western Isles and Shetland.
Conservative MSP Mary Scanlon issued the call yesterday after new figures showed the number of early diagnoses amongst people was in decline.
Health statisticians ISD Scotland said the number of breast, lung and bowel cancer cases detected at stage one in the Western Isles fell by 16% between 2010-13.
A total of 46 cases were identified at an early stage when the disease is easier to treat and there is generally a better chance of a survival in 2010-11, 51 in 2011-12 and 32 in 2012-13.
The figures showed that the number of cases detected at stage one in Shetland between 2010-13 fell by 15%.
A total of 20 cases were recorded in 2012-13, 17 in 2011-12 and 22 in 2010-11.
A report published by ISD said a “breast screening mobile unit only visits the island NHS boards once every three years.
“For NHS Shetland, only 16.4% of cancers were diagnosed at stage 1, lower than for any other NHS board.
“This may be due, to some extent, to the breast screening mobile unit not visiting the island during 2012.”
Mrs Scanlon, who represents the Highlands and islands, said: “This is an extremely worrying admission about the relationship between cancer detection and the lack of screening.
“Early detection is crucial in the fight against breast cancer, and women in Shetland were clearly put at risk as a result of this.
“The Scottish Government should ensure this type of care is available for all, regardless of whether you live in a city or an island.”
No one at NHS Shetland and NHS Western Isles was available for comment.
The figures showed that 24.3% of all breast, lung and bowel cancers in Scotland during 2012-2013 were detected at stage one – an increase of 4.7% since 2010 and 2011.
Health Secretary Alex Neil said: “Cancer is a word that most of us dread hearing and dealing with a cancer diagnoses can be both difficult and scary.
“However it can be treated and beaten when detected at an early stage.
“Our annual £10.8million investment in cancer research has brought about huge advances in treatments that help extend and improve the quality of life.”