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Transforming Breast Cancer Together Initiative: The Next 5 Years to Reimagine the Future of Breast Cancer Care in the EU’ EP Event


17 Oct 2019


Health & Consumers

Brussels, 16 October 2019 – MEP Cristian-Silviu Bușoi and the Transforming Breast Cancer Together Initiative organised an event in the European Parliament focusing on the daily realities of living with breast cancer and what can be done to address ongoing unmet needs in the next 5 years.

The event entitled: “Transforming Breast Cancer Together Initiative: The Next 5 Years to Reimagine the Future of Breast Cancer Care in the EU”, brought together a distinguished panel of speakers, comprised of:

  • Cristian-Silviu Bușoi, Member of the European Parliament
  • Mona Elzayat, President, Europa Donna – The European Breast Cancer Coalition
  • Patrizia Toia, Member of the European Parliament
  • Elena Kountoura, Member of the European Parliament
  • Isabel T. Rubio MD, President-elect, European Society of Breast Cancer Specialists (EUSOMA) and Board Member, European Society of Surgical Oncology (ESSO)
  • Martin Seychell, Deputy Director-General, DG SANTÉ, European Commission
  • Ciaràn Nicholl, Head of Unit, F1“Health in Society”, JRC, European Commission
  • Kathi Apostolidis, President, European Cancer Patient Coalition (ECPC)

October was a timely moment for the event as it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the new college of Commissioners is about to take office. MEP Cristian-Silviu Bușoi underlined that while there has been progress in Europe there is a lot of work which still needs to be done and this can only be accomplished if all stakeholders collaborate together: ‘’The ultimate goal of the TBCT initiative is to reduce the social impact of breast cancer by elevating it as a health policy priority. With this event, the initiative reaffirms its goals and calls on additional MEPs to join us in tackling to breast cancer’’.

President of Europa Donna Mona Elzayat and President of ECPC Kathi Apostolidis shared the patient, patient advocate, and carers’ perspectives, emphasising that patients’ views “need to be taken into account when devising policy, for their benefit but also for the benefit of all of EU society”.

Breast cancer is still the leading cause of cancer morbidity in women, and the probability of developing breast cancer over a lifetime is approximately 1 in 8.([1])  Breast cancer is not only a public health problem, but also as a socio-economic problem. There is a large variety between national European healthcare systems and high inequalities still exist when it comes to access, quality of care and patient outcomes.

Dr. Isabel T. Rubio, who represented the views of the medical community, argued that “a key aspect of breast cancer policy is to ensure that all women diagnosed with breast cancer have access to treatment in a specialist breast-unit by a multidisciplinary breast unit team. All ongoing needs for care and psychosocial services for women with breast cancer should be co-ordinated by the specialist breast unit”.

MEPs Elena Kountoura and Patrizia Toia, both shared their deep commitment to European women who have been affected by breast cancer and how it will be a priority for this Parliament legislature to tackle unmet medical and social needs.

The Transforming Breast Cancer Together initiative is now open to the participation of new Members of the European Parliament.

About the Transforming Breast Cancer Together initiative

‘Transforming Breast Cancer Together’ initiative was established in November 2017, by former Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) Lieve Wierinck and Elena Gentile and MEP Cristian-Silivu Bușoi. The Initiative, which has been chaired for the past two years by MEP Cristian-Silviu Bușoi, aims to improve services for patients in an area of still high unmet need and reduce the societal impact of breast cancer by elevating it as a health policy priority to improve breast cancer prevention, diagnosis and care across Europe.

The initiative is driven by a group that currently includes Cristian-Silviu Bușoi (European People's Party – EPP), Advanced Breast Cancer (ABC) Global Alliance, Eli Lilly and Company, European Society of Surgical Oncology, Europa Donna – The European Breast Cancer Coalition, European Cancer Patient Coalition, European School of Oncology, European Society of Breast Cancer Specialists, GE Healthcare, Helsinn, Novartis and Working With Cancer.

For further details, please contact William Scharf from FTI Consulting at:

1 European Commission Initiative on Breast Cancer (2018) “Recommendations from European Breast Guidelines” Accessible available here.



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