The ways in which the European Union takes a holistic approach to the treatment of cancer at all stages of the disease, from prevention to the next day of treatment, was mentioned by the Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Stella Kyriakidou in her speech at the Sixth International Consensus Conference on Breast Cancer in Lisbon.
Commissioner Kyriakidou underlined that although the fight against cancer is difficult, it can be won if the trend of reducing spending in the health systems of the Member States is reversed and if investments in research are strengthened.
Ms. Kyriakidou referred to the visits she made to the Champalimaud Foundation and the Portuguese Oncology Institute, and stressed that the determination she saw in the country to fight cancer is crucial in trying to win the battle against the disease.
“One in 11 women is expected to develop breast cancer during their lifetime,” said Commissioner Kyriakidou, recalling that it is the most common type of cancer, which accounts for a quarter of all cases in women.
He referred to the deteriorating conditions for breast cancer patients due to the pandemic, and due to limited access to tests, diagnoses and treatments, and noted that according to the information available to the Commission, cancer control programs have been slowed down. or stop altogether in many parts of the EU in the last two years.
As he said, surgeries have been delayed, several cases are considered that they will not be diagnosed in time in their initial stages, and that there are shortages in medicines and equipment.
“Overall, we are facing a difficult battle against cancer. “But it is a battle we can win,” said Kyriakidou. forces in the framework of the Europe Plan to Fight Cancer.
Referring to the Plan, she pointed out that this is the first coherent and comprehensive plan of the EU which includes various policies, research initiatives and funding.
As he said, the Plan covers the entire course of the disease, from prevention, diagnosis and treatment, to the quality of life of patients and those treated.
In particular, it analyzed how EU initiatives can contribute to the fight against the disease at every stage, including the HealthyLifestyle4All campaign, the changes that the Commission will propose to the Council's recommendations on screening and its network. EU for interconnection of national cancer centers.