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NEWS: ECCO contributes thoughts on EU cancer action plan

ECCO President-Elect Dr Matti Aapro was honoured and delighted to be invited to contribute thoughts to a paper published by the Manfred Weber campaign for Presidency of the European Commission.

Titled “A European Master Plan to join our forces in the fight against cancer”, the paper calls for European countries to further join forces against all cancer types via European Union mechanism, and set out a range of potential actions for achieving this. 

These proposals include:

  • Harnessing the potential of Big Data, by establishing a European Digital Cancer Centre. Such a centre can reach the scale and critical mass necessary to achieve breakthrough discoveries in cancer care;
  • Improving quality cancer care in each European country, including supportive and palliative care, for the younger and older, by encouraging an agreement among European level organisations on a set of core standards and evidence-based indicators to assess the quality of all cancer services, and to encourage European quality accreditation for cancer centres;
  • Establishing a European Cancer Prevention Strategy, built on previous EU led and stakeholder initiatives, which would include among its aims encouraging the formation of international collaborative consortia between research centres in prevention across Europe;
  • Forming a European Strategy for Early Cancer Detection, with the aim of ensuring a broader implementation of screening programmes and early diagnosis techniques across all EU Member States;
  • Creating a European Partnering Programme to help smaller cancer centres and hospitals to engage with the whole research community and help all centres share data and knowledge;
  • Promoting the right for cancer survivors not to have to declare their medical history once some time has elapsed after active treatment is completed, in respect to employers, insurance companies and banks.

At the time of writing it is unknown if Manfred Weber’s bid to be European Commission President will be successful, although his party grouping, the European Peoples’ Party, has won the most seats of any of the established party groupings in the May 2019 European Parliament election.

The paper is available here.

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