The European Code of Cancer Practice: Championing the Rights of Cancer Patients Across Europe

The European Cancer Organisation has launched a brand new initiative for empowering European citizens and cancer patients with ten key overarching Rights, signposting what cancer patients in Europe should expect from their healthcare system. The European Code of Cancer Practice (The Code) has been produced to assist every person with cancer across Europe to receive the best possible care, treatment, and support. 

Stella Kyriakides
, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, said:

“The co-creation of the European Code of Cancer Practice by patients and healthcare professionals is about partnerships. Partnership between health care professionals and patients all working together to improve the realities of cancer. This is an initiative that brings all together at the same table where decisions are made. From our side, with our upcoming Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan, the new EU4Health Programme and the forthcoming Pharmaceutical Strategy, we are working in the same direction as the European Code of Cancer Practice by promoting Equal Access, Quality of Life, Survivorship and other important rights. Today is another important day in the shared work we are all committed to in creating a better future for cancer patients across Europe. Today is another important step in each cancer patients journey.”

Dr Matti Aapro
, President of the European Cancer Organisation, said:

“The European Code of Cancer Practice focuses on informing and supporting in a complete yet simple manner cancer patients at all stages of their cancer journey. It is an important complement to the European Cancer Organisation Essential Requirements for Quality Cancer Care publications. This powerful new tool sets out the core requirements for excellence in clinical cancer practice to improve outcomes for all cancer patients in Europe.”

Kathy Oliver
, Vice-Chair of the European Cancer Organisation’s Patient Advisory Committee and Co-Chair of the European Code of Cancer Practice initiative, said:

“From today, cancer patients across Europe can turn to The Code and know exactly what their rights are throughout the whole of the cancer pathway. The Rights are based on available supporting literature and evidence; they’ve already been translated into several EU languages and they’re expressed in simple, straightforward text. The Code also provides a framework around which quality standards, policies and practices for excellent cancer care can be developed, delivered and monitored.”

Professor Mark Lawler
, Associate Pro-Vice Chancellor, Queen's University Belfast, Board Member European Cancer Organisation and Co-Chair of the European Code of Cancer Practice initiative, said:

“This is a momentous day for cancer patients across the whole of Europe. The European Code of Cancer Practice, co-created by patients and health professionals, provides the impetus to ensure that European citizens and patients receive the best possible care for their cancer.  It will empower patients across Europe to seek out the best available care. It is a People’s Code – owned by all Europeans, from Gearoid in Galway, Ireland, to Aergul in Ankara, Turkey; from Taavi in Kuopio, Finland, to Beatrici in Birgu, Malta. The Rights that we are championing in the European Code of Cancer Practice will empower European citizens to survive cancer and to live longer, healthier and more productive lives.”

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