President Matti Aapro’s New Year Message to the European Parliament and Commission: Europe Needs a Beating Cancer Plan that Covers All Bases

15 January 2021

This week, on its New Year return, the European Parliament, via its Special Committee on Beating Cancer, shined a spotlight on the Survivorship and Quality of Life policy concerns as relating to EU cancer actions.

Dr Matti Aapro, President of the European Cancer Organisation, speaking at the hearing, emphasised the need for Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan to achieve a comprehensive approach to burning issues of concern for patients and carers across Europe.

Here is the message:

“With the important advances we have made across Europe in improving survival from cancer, it is more important than ever that Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan gives serious attention to the pressing needs we have in respect of cancer survivorship and quality of life. We need an EU Cancer Plan that covers all the bases.

This includes, for instance, a new focus on how we can better manage patients with co-morbidities, and improve access to key specialised skills in the health workforce, such as geriatric oncology, pyscho-oncology, palliative and supportive care. My colleague Andreas Charalambous, European. Cancer Organisation President-Elect, member of the Board of EONS,  described to the  Special Committee the vital caring role of the cancer nurse. There are many ways the EU might support improvement in these areas, including by supporting European countries to tackle cross border skills shortages in cancer care together.

Pain management, cancer distress, the sexual implications of a cancer diagnosis, return to work and the right not to be discriminated against for your cancer, were all also given illuminating attention during the hearing.

There is still time to check these points are included in the Beating Cancer Plan before publication in February. A comprehensive pillar on Survivorship and Quality of Life will be the demonstration of a Plan ready to improve lives in every EU country.”

Download the European Cancer Organisation’s summary of Monday’s hearing of the Special Committee on Cancer here.

More information about the European Parliament’s Special Committee, and its hearings, here.

More information about Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan here.

Dr Matti Aapro, President, European Cancer Organisation Dr Matti Aapro, President, European Cancer Organisation