Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan is a political commitment to turn the tide against cancer and another stepping stone towards a strong European Health Union and a more secure, better-prepared and more resilient EU.
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.
20 September 2022 - The Commission has presented a new approach to support Member States in increasing the uptake of cancer screening. Focusing on detection of cancers at an early stage, the objective of the proposed recommendation is to increase the number of screenings, covering more target groups and more cancers.
Together, the EU can work towards:
- a tobacco-free generation: ensuring that less than 5% of the population uses tobacco by 2040
- reduce harmful alcohol consumption in line with the targets of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (relative reduction of at least 10% in the harmful use of alcohol by 2025) and reduce young people’s exposure to alcohol marketing
- reduce environmental pollution by aligning the EU’s air quality standards with the World Health Organization’s guidelines and reduce exposure to carcinogenic substances and radiation
- improve knowledge and health literacy to promote healthier lifestyles
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
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.
Everyone should have the same right to high quality care, diagnosis and treatment, the same access to medicines, and the same hope of survival, regardless of where they live.
But survival rates following treatment for breast cancer vary by 20% between countries and the five‑year survival for colon cancer ranges from 49% to 68%.
The EU Cancer Plan provides for an EU platform to improve access to cancer medicines as well as support for the cancer workforce through an inter-specialty training programme.
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
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.
- 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
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