The European Cancer Organisation’s major new report, Viral Protection: Achieving the Possible. A Four Step Plan for Eliminating HPV Cancers in Europe, calls for urgent action to eliminate most of the 87,000 cancer cases caused in men and women by HPV (human papillomavirus) each year across over 50 countries in the WHO European Region. Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan, due for later this year, provides a great opportunity for the EU to take the lead on this issue. The WHO European Region should also recommend action to all its member states, in addition to the recent WHO Global Strategy for elimination of cervical cancer.
The report has been produced in collaboration with the professionals of many cancer and other organisations and patients who make up the European Cancer Organisation’s HPV Action Network. This is the first Europe-wide advocacy initiative to tackle HPV-caused cancers.
Viral Protection highlights that:
The report sets out an evidence-based case for action on 28 recommendations on four main fronts:
The European Cancer Organisation is urging the European Commission to take action in its new Beating Cancer Plan. The report will also be discussed at the European Cancer Organisation’s Summit on 18/19 November where resolutions on HPV will be discussed and voted on and then become part of its continuing policy and advocacy work on this key issue.
Commenting on the call to action, Dr Matti Aapro, President of the European Cancer Organisation, said:
“The new Report, Viral Protection: Achieving the Possible, builds on the World Health Organization’s recently-published global cervical cancer strategy and sets out how elimination of cancers and diseases caused by HPV can be realised through realistic investment and most importantly by building on good practice already in place in many but still too few European countries. This goal, which really is a no-brainer, is achievable through evidence-based steps in four key areas: vaccination, screening, treatment, and public and professional education. We know what to do, so let’s seize the moment.”
Professor Daniel Kelly, Co-Chair of the European Cancer Organisation’s HPV Action Network, said:
“The forthcoming Beating Cancer Plan is a unique opportunity for the EU to take the lead in eliminating all cancers caused by HPV in men and women. We urge the Commission to adopt our proposals for action and for member states to act, especially those currently behind in terms of HPV vaccination, screening, treatment and public awareness.”
Professor Rui Medeiros, Co-Chair of the European Cancer Organisation’s HPV Action Network, said:
“The World Health Organization considers ‘vaccine hesitancy’ – the reluctance or refusal to vaccinate despite the availability of vaccines – as one of the top 10 threats to global health. We have already seen the impact of fake news on HPV vaccination programmes in Europe with unfounded rumours about safety significantly reducing uptake. Unless action is taken quickly, thousands of people may suffer or die unnecessarily from easily-preventable cancers.”