Every year 1,4 million Europeans die of cancer, new cancer cases are expected to rise to 3,9 million by 2040, and the consequences for surviving patients and their families are often grave and persistent. The European Parliament has promised to step up the fight to beat cancer with an EU-wide plan to tackle all aspects of the disease, from better prevention campaigns, screening and diagnosis to patient-centred care and a rights-based approach to make a return to normal life easier for those involved.
Renew Europe MEPs have taken the lead also in the newly set up special committee on beating cancer (BECA). The important role of rapporteur will also go to a Renew Europe MEP and medical oncologist, Véronique Trillet-Lenoir (Liste Renaissance, FR): 'Cancer is a disease of social injustice. We are unequal in prevention, unequally protected against environmental carcinogens, unequally educated to risk behavior, unequally armed against misinformation. From one country to another in Europe, we are unequal in terms of rapid access to quality care. Finally, after the disease, we are unequal in consequences for surviving patients and their families are often grave and persistent our ability to return to work, to financial independence and to a harmonious social and emotional life. The goal of a Europe's beating cancer plan is, of course, to fight against one of the leading cause of death in Europe and of great suffering for millions of citizens, but also to initiate the reduction of health inequalities, and then to move towards a real Union of Health.'
'The Beating Cancer committee in EP is not here to be another policy shop.' comments coordinator MEP Nicolae Ștefănuță (Uniunea Salvați România, RO), 'We mean business because we want to achieve real steps in beating cancer in Europe. For that, we need political will. We need the Council to commit and the Commission to execute. Today's step, in awarding the report to a lifelong fighter against cancer, an oncologist and health politician, is a testament to that ambition.'
Véronique Trillet-Lenoir underlines: 'In terms of reforming our health and welfare systems, cancer efforts are a model for how we tackle other diseases. Measures included in the European Plan to beat Cancer could then become further applicable more broadly to people with chronic diseases.A lot depends on this report, and I look forward to working on it.'