Image source: ESR
As November is lung cancer awareness month, and with the soon-to-be Commissioner for Health bearing the responsibility for a Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan, the three organisations are taking this opportunity to bring attention to one of the deadliest cancers in Europe.
Lung cancer early diagnosis
For lung cancer patients, life expectancy has hardly improved since 1970. A ten-year survival is 5%, making this the leading cause of death among all cancers. One reason is that, in most cases, the disease is diagnosed far too late. Professor Mathias Prokop is among leading advocates of low-dose CT screening for lung cancer for high risk patients.
The ESR and ERS believe that the European Commission’s upcoming cancer plan should propose actions to strengthen the approach at every key stage of the disease, be it prevention, early detection, rapid diagnosis, treatment, life as a cancer survivor or palliative care. To raise awareness of this public health issue, the ESR, ERS and LuCE brought together a variety of stakeholders including academics, politicians and policymakers, as well as representatives of industry and pharmaceutical organisations for productive discussions centred on how to tackle the burden of lung cancer in Europe.
Claudia Gamon, an Austrian MEP from Renew Europe, set the stage for the 90-minute breakfast roundtable, which benefitted from the contributions of leading experts from both the ERS and the ESR in addition to a patient representative from LuCE. The European Parliament is encouraged to adopt a parliamentary resolution for early detection of lung cancer, to emphasise the need for action across Member States in the interest of public health. The European Commission is called upon to include lung cancer in the scope of the EU Cancer Mission and the Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan.
In addition, new scientific evidence calls for an update of the 2003 Council Recommendation on cancer screening, and for Member States to exchange best practices and gradually implement lung cancer screening programmes while upholding the highest standards of care and patient safety. The joint effort between the organisations has also enabled the publication and distribution of a factsheet explaining how lung cancer is currently the biggest cancer killer in Europe, and the extent to which mortality can be reduced by implementing simple measures at European Union level.
Source: European Society of Radiology (ESR)