The European Commission announces its ‘Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan

On February 3rd, The European Commission unveiled its ‘Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan’ that sets out a new EU approach to cancer treatment, prevention, and care.

The new plan aims to address the entire disease pathway by looking at prevention opportunities to quality of life for cancer patients and survivors.

A total of €4 billion in funding has been provided for actions addressing cancer including Horizon Europe, the EU4Health programme, and the Digital Europe programme.

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, said,In 2020, while we were all fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us were fighting a silent battle. The battle against cancer.

“In 2020, we lost 1.3 million Europeans to this disease. And sadly, the number of cases is on the rise. This is why we present Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan today. The fight of those battling cancer is our fight as well, in Europe.”

Additional initiatives are being set up by the plan, including a new Knowledge Centre of Cancer to help coordinate scientific and technical cancer-related initiatives at EU level, and a European Cancer Imaging Initiative.

The European Cancer Imagining Initiative will support in the development of new AI tools to improve personalised medicine options.

Margaritis Schinas, Vice-President of the European Commission, said, “Honouring one of this Commission’s central pledges, we present today an anthropocentric Plan for cancer that addresses all angles: prevention, diagnosis, treatment and survivorship.

“This Plan is unique because it is based on a ‘health in all policies’ approach, pooling all strings together under a common goal, beating cancer. It is about health but beyond health policy. A whole-of-society effort. In a strong European Health Union, cancer becomes a shared political, operational and scientific priority.”

Children will also be a focus of the plan, with the launch of the ‘Helping Children With Cancer Initiative’ to ensure that children have access to rapid and optimal detection, diagnosis, treatment and care.

In a real effort to tackle disparities and inequalities between EU member states, a ‘Cancer Inequalities Register will be established in 2021.

Find out more about the plan here.

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