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In 2020, 2.7 million people in the European Union were diagnosed with cancer, and another 1.3 million people lost their lives to it, including over 2,000 young people. Unless we take decisive action now, cancer cases are set to increase by 24% by 2035, making it the leading cause of death in the EU.

Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan will have €4 billion of funding, including €1.25 billion from the future EU4Health programme.

Highlight

Saving lives through sustainable cancer prevention

About 40% of cancer cases are preventable: effective cancer prevention strategies can prevent illness, save lives, and reduce suffering.

Improving early detection of cancer

Early detection through screening can help save lives. But inequalities to access persist between Member States.

The number of at-risk people being tested varies among Member states. It ranges from

6% to 90%
for breast cancer
25% to 80%
for cervical cancer

With the new approach to cancer detection proposed in September 2022, the Commission will support Member States in ensuring that 90% of the EU population who qualify for breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screenings are offered such screening by 2025. The proposal also expands population-based organised cancer screening to include lung, prostate and, under certain circumstances, gastric cancers.

Equal access to cancer diagnosis and treatment

Improving quality of life for cancer patients and survivors

There are estimated to be over 12 million cancer survivors in Europe, including around 300 000 childhood cancer survivors, thanks to advances in early detection, effective therapies and supportive care.

Thanks to advances in early detection, effective therapies and supportive care, there is estimated to be

over 12 million cancer survivors in Europe
including around 300 000 childhood cancer survivors

While this is a reason for optimism, there also needs to be appropriate follow-up care, access to social protection and equal access to financial services, including insurance.

Flagship initiatives

  • Knowledge Centre on Cancer
  • Cancer Diagnostic and Treatment for All
  • European Cancer Imaging Initiative
  • European Initiative to Understand Cancer
  • Eliminate cancers caused by Human papillomavirus
  • Better life for cancer patients initiative
  • EU Cancer Screening Scheme
  • Cancer Inequalities Registry
  • EU network of National Comprehensive Cancer Centres
  • Helping Children with Cancer Initiative

Documents

 

2 FEBRUARY 2022
Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan: One year on
English
(PDF)
Download

 

31 JANUARY 2022
Europe's Beating Cancer Plan: Implementation Roadmap
English
(PDF)
Download

 

5 FEBRUARY 2021
Factsheet: SAMIRA (Strategic Agenda for Medical Ionising Radiation Applications)
English
(5.95 KB - HTML)
Download

 

3 FEBRUARY 2021
Communication: "Europe's Beating Cancer Plan"
English
(339.46 KB - HTML)
Download

 

3 FEBRUARY 2021
Factsheet: Europe's Beating Cancer Plan
English
(5.95 KB - HTML)
Download