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Fighting cancer in an enlarged European Union


10 Apr 2008


Health & Consumers

During a debate on combating cancer in the EU in the European Parliament today, GUE/NGL MEP and oncologist Dr Adamos Adamou (Cyprus) recalled that "each year more than two million European citizens suffer from some form of cancer, and roughly one million die from cancer (mainly lung, colon or breast cancer)". However, he added, "some 30% of cancers in the EU are preventable and another 30% can be successfully treated".

"What we need to do in the 27 Member States of the European Union is to coordinate our assistance to patients." To achieve this, he urged using money from the Structural Funds and the Seventh Research Framework Programme in the fight against cancer. He said that examples of successful practice and knowledge in the field of oncology in Member States should be better shared and coordinated. He concluded by calling for the establishment of an EU-level working group focusing exclusively on oncology.

MEP Bairbre De Brún (GUE/NGL, North of Ireland) called for an inter-institutional task force on cancer bringing together the Commission, Parliament and Council and for more EU funding for cancer detection and prevention.

Ms De Brún called for specific EU-wide strategies for women's cancers such as "free and regular cervical screening" and "free and prompt breast cancer screening." She recalled that poverty is a key factor in ill-health and that people living in poverty die younger due to ill health. "This is particularly true of deaths from cancer", she said.

Gay Kavanagh +32 473 842 320
Gianfranco Battistini +32 475 64 66 28


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