The EU is strengthening its war on cancer with its new Beating Cancer plan. The initiative budgeted at €4 billion will focus on research and its practical applications for better treatments.
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With only a tenth of the global population, one in four cancer cases is registered in Europe. Today cancer is the leading cause of death second only to cardiovascular disease, and may become the first by 2035. In 2020, 2.7 million people in the EU were diagnosed with cancer, and another 1.3 million lost their lives to it. The cost of cancer care is also very high and growing: the overall economic impact of cancer in Europe is estimated to exceed €100 billion annually. The Beating Cancer plan is set to address these challenges.
The plan comprises ten flagship initiatives and multiple supporting actions, covering the entire disease pathway, from prevention to quality of life of cancer patients and survivors, and spanning across policy areas from employment and education to environment and taxation. Specifically, it will focus on new technologies, research and innovation; sustainable prevention; early detection; accessibility of diagnosis and treatment; reducing inequalities across the EU and childhood cancer prevention.
The ten top line initiatives include:
- Knowledge Centre on Cancer (till 2022)
- HPV vaccination programmes (till 2030)
- EU Network of National Comprehensive Cancer Centres (till 2025)
- Cancer Diagnostic and Treatment for All initiative (till 2025)
- European Initiative to Understand Cancer (till 2025)
- Cancer Survivor Smart-Card, European Cancer Patient Digital Centre (till 2023)
- Cancer Inequalities Registry (till 2022)
- Helping Children with Cancer Initiative (till 2023)
- EU Cancer Screening Scheme (till 2025)
- European Cancer Imaging Initiative
The €4-billion budget includes €1.25 billion from the future EU4Health programme and financial support through the Horizon Europe Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, and the Digital Europe programme.
Source: European Commission