Cancer is the second leading cause of mortality in the EU, after cardiovascular diseases. Each year there are 3.5 million new diagnoses; and every year 1.3 million people die from cancer, accounting for 25% of all deaths. If the current trend continues, the projection is that by 2035 cancer cases will have doubled in number, and cancer will have become the leading cause of death in the EU.
Though public health is the primary responsibility of the Member States, the EU has a strong role in supporting, coordinating and complementing Member States’ efforts. On 4 February 2020 – World Cancer Day – the European Commission started its outreach on Europe’s Cancer Plan at an event in the European Parliament in Brussels.
The Plan aims to reduce the cancer burden for patients and families, and health care systems. The Plan is ambitious in addressing cancer-related inequalities between and in the Member States. The European Parliament, as law-maker and policy-maker, plays an active role in shaping the new Cancer Plan and related legislative proposals and policy initiatives.