The European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakidou, on Monday, referred to the importance of cooperation between all partners for the success of Europe's Beating Cancer Plan, stressing the need to eliminate "unacceptable" inequalities in prevention, treatment and care for cancer among EU member states.
The Commissioner was speaking at the 42nd annual meeting of the European Cancer Leagues, hosted by the Cyprus Anti-Cancer Society. The event is being held in Limassol.
In her speech, Kyriakides said that we have seen over the last three years that health and security threats can emerge at any time and that we need innovative solutions more than ever.
She added that when it comes to cancer prevention and care there are still huge inequalities, not only between member states but also within member states as well as within different socioeconomic groups. For example, she said, targeted population screenings for breast cancer, vary significantly within the EU from 6% to 90%, which was “unacceptable”, she added. For this reason, she added, the European Cancer Inequalities Registry was established to monitor trends and provide guidance but also to prioritize investments and interventions that are going to be most beneficial to the patients.
The Commissioner also said that next year, in 2023, on World Cancer Day, they will be publishing the cancer country profiles for the 27 EU states plus Iceland and Norway. This, she added, is going to further highlight the inequalities but at the same time, help bridge the gaps and direct the EU’s support to what is needed most in certain member states.
Kyriakides also referred to the launch next year by the Commission of the first-ever Code of Conduct at the EU level, ensuring that all cancer survivors have access to financial services, and insurance after a number of years of completing their treatments, like anyone else.
The President of the European Cancer Leagues, Professor Rui Medeiros, a representative of Cyprus’ Minister of Health, and the President of the Cyprus Anti-Cancer Society, Dr. Adamos Adamou, also addressed the conference. The co-chairman of the MEPs Against Cancer group, Loukas Fourlas, also sent his own message, through a video message.
In the framework of the conference, topics such as the integrated care of cancer patients through the provision of oncology services and palliative care, ways to combat inequalities in care at the European level, the need for personalized treatments, and the challenges faced by cancer survivors.