Recommendations for curbing cancer in Europe

Despite the fact that every day there are interesting and effective findings that have a positive influence on the prevention, detection and cure of cancer, the truth is that this is still the great scourge of the 21st century. A disease that does not filter by age, gender, race or origin, although there are genetic, environmental or behavioral factors that influence the predisposition to suffer this disease.

According to the latest available data provided by Eurostat, about 1.2 million people died of cancer in the European Union in 2016. Every year, 2.6 million people in Europe are diagnosed with cancer and this number is expected to continue to grow due to various factors such as an ageing population, unhealthy lifestyles and unfavourable environmental conditions.

Although survival rates for several types of cancer have improved in recent decades, the truth is that these rates depend not only on the type of cancer suffered, but also on the possibility of receiving a timely diagnosis and access to appropriate treatment and care. Precisely, there are still great differences between the various EU countries that show great inequalities in access to knowledge, prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

Without strong and coordinated action, the number of cancer cases in Europe will increase by 25% in 2035. To respond to this challenge, the Mission Against Cancer was created within the framework of the Horizon Europe research programme (2021-2027), whose ambitious objective is to save more than three million lives by 2030 and provide them with a greater and better quality of life.

In this ambitious task, a panel composed of experts from different disciplines has promoted a document with 13 recommendations that seek to offer a comprehensive approach to this problem. This report is the basis for future consultations in the EU and will shape the research strategy for the first four years of the Cancer mission, although the final document will be known in December this year.

Advanced measures include the creation of a research program to identify cancer risk, optimize existing screening programs and develop novel approaches to early detection, policies to improve the quality of life of cancer patients and survivors, families and caregivers, or to focus on cancers affecting children and adolescents.

The complete document with the EU recommendations on this matter is available at this link.

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