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20 million reasons to establish an EU Cancer Survivorship Day


05 Jul 2022


Health & Consumers

The EU Challenge Cancer Parliamentary Intergroup calls for European  Institutions to support the establishment of the EU Cancer Survivorship  Day.

In a letter sent today to the Presidents of the European Parliament  and European Commission and the EU Commissioner for Health and Food  Safety, the Intergroup draws attention on the 20 million European cancer  survivors, who are often faced with lifelong struggles. 

A day to celebrate the lives of cancer survivors and advance their quality of life is  being proposed by 63 MEPs form several political groups.  

In a letter sent to the European Parliament President Roberta Metsola, European  Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and the EU Commissioner for Health  and Food Safety Stella Kyriakides, MEPs ask the two Institutions to endorse the  establishment of an annual EU Cancer Survivorship Day

MEP Cristian-Silviu Bușoi, Chair of the EU Challenge Cancer Parliamentary  Intergroup, says: “The European Survivorship Day is a very Parliamentary important step to implement the targets of the EU Beating Cancer Plan. We  therefore need to consider concrete measures at both an EU and national level for  survivors to improve their situation in the coming years.” 

The day is already being celebrated on the first Sunday of June in several countries  all around the world, such as the USA, Canada, India, South Africa, and Australia.  

According to some estimations, today there are 20 million cancer survivors in the  EU. A number that grows every year and requires identifying former cancer  patients as a specific vulnerable group with proper needs. Survivors are often  daunted by the risk of potential tumour recurrence and metastatic disease. Their  life depends on the availability of rehabilitation measures to support social  integration and effective policies to re-integrate them into the workplace. 

The formal recognition of the Cancer Survivorship Day will provide EU with a  unique opportunity to engage patients, their families, and stakeholders. It will also  offer a venue to discuss and advance the measures proposed in the Europe’s  Beating Cancer Plan, unveiled by the Commission in 2021, and the new EU  approach to tackle the entire disease pathway. 

Francesco de Lorenzo, President of ECPC, says: “The establishment of a European  Survivorship Day is a development that the millions of European Cancer Survivors  and their families will highly appreciate, as it will provide a unique opportunity to  start designing policies that include the whole cancer care pathway and that  emphasize the need for rehabilitation measures for cancer patients. This can only  be achieved by setting up trustful relationships between all relevant stakeholders  and by promoting the value of survivorship and reintegration into social life.”



Given the ad hoc needs of cancer survivors and the persisting inequalities among  EU countries, the European Cancer Patients Coalition has promoted several  initiatives in support of the establishment of an EU Cancer Survivorship Day by  organising targeted events, such as last year’s '20 Million Reasons to Discuss Life  after Cancer: establishing a European cancer survivorship day.' 

About the EU Parliamentary Integroup ‘Challenge Cancer’  

Established in 2020, the EU Challenge Cancer Intergroup was conceived by the  ECPC to ensure continuity in the European Parliament’s work on cancer during the  previous and the current mandates. The Intergroup serves as a forum for MEPs  from all political parties to engage in dialogue with patients, cancer survivors,  carers, scientific and medical societies, research institutions, and other  stakeholders. 

About the European Cancer Patient Coalition 

European Cancer Patient Coalition (ECPC) is the voice of cancer patients in Europe.  With over 450 members, ECPC is Europe’s largest umbrella cancer patients’  association, covering all 27 EU Member States and many other European and non European countries. ECPC represents patients affected by all types of cancers,  from the rarest to the most common. 

For more information 

EU Parliamentary Integroup ‘Challenge Cancer’

European Cancer Patients Coalition’s website

Press Contact 

Evi Palaiologou