Together Against Cancer: Slovakia

eco time to accelerate

Time to Accelerate

European Quality Care for Slovak Cancer Patients

In 2023, the European Cancer Organisation (ECO) and OnkoAlliance Slovakia (OAS) together with the Slovak Republic's Ministry of Health launched the 'Cancer Screening from Policy to Implementation'  a national campaign to advance early detection.

Despite recent advances, Slovakian citizens are less likely to have their cancers diagnosed early, when treatment and survival rates are optimal. They are also less likely to access proper cancer care due to  shortages of oncology personnel. In a country where cancer is the second leading cause of death, improving cancer screening and access to quality cancer care is vital!

To help address this,  ECO partnered with OnkoAlliance to reconvene local partners, policymakers, and patient group on 14 May to discuss Slovakia's successes and most pressing cancer challenges.

Collage Slovakia

The event featured the release of an updated version of ECO's Country Report on Slovakia, with more data and new insights into Slovakia’s healthcare system. Amongst the highlights:  

  • Smoking: More than 21% of Slovakia’s population smokes daily compared to 18% on average in the EU. To make matters worse, the survival rate of lung cancer in Slovakia is a stunningly low 11%, compared to the EU average of 15%.
  • Too little screening: Only 25% of eligible Slovakians have been screened for breast cancer, compared to the European average of 54%. On cervical cancer, only 44% of eligible Slovakians have undergone screening compared to 56% of Europeans on average.
  • Medical staff shortages: Slovakia has only 5.8 nurses per 1,000 citizens compared to Europe's average of 8.3 per 1,000 citizens.
  • Inequalities: cancer mortality rates in Slovakia vary widely across regions from a low of 273.6 in Žilinský to a high of 329.5 in Nitriansky. Slovakia needs to improve cancer care, regardless of where citizens live.
  • No right to be forgotten: Slovakia does not offer any legal protection to cancer survivors to spare them having to declare their previous cancer. That means they often have limited access to financial services or must pay higher premiums than other Slovakians.

Pulse country reports slovakia

To address these challenges at a European level, the European Cancer Organisation together with member societies and patient associations have released the Time to Accelerate: for Europe Manifesto. The main goals are:


The main objectives of ECO's visit were to:

  • broaden public awareness of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan and the EU’s role in supporting national cancer strategies;
  • highlight progress registered by Slovakia since the last country visit ;
  • discuss challenges to research, access to treatment, early diagnosis, and prevention;
  • explore next steps in EU cancer policy in the run-up to EU elections in June.

To learn more about the event and access the full agenda, visit the OnkoAlliance Slovakia webpage here.

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