EPF’s Response to the EU’s Beating Cancer Plan Public Consultation
25 May 2020
The European Patients’ Forum welcomes the roadmap on Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan and more generally the ambitious approach taken by the European Commission in tackling cancer. Our response has been developed in a consultative process together with our members and highlights several issues which are not addressed in the public consultation questionnaire, but which in our view warrant inclusion in the plan. EPF welcomes the opportunity to provide input to the development of the EU’s Beating Cancer Plan, an initiative which affects many of our members. We hope the Commission will consider our recommendations when defining its priorities for the plan.
Cancer is the second leading cause of death and disability in the EU and is recognised as one of the major contributors to premature deaths according to the State of Health in the EU reports, affecting patients, their families, their caregivers, but also the society at large. Cancer carries with it a huge societal and personal burden due to premature deaths, loss of productivity and the costs associated with treatment and care. Challenges faced by cancer patients and survivors include those related to their treatment pathway, navigating the health system, as well as quality of life and the ramifications of living with and after cancer.
Cancer intersects with other chronic diseases in complex ways. In EPF’s view, the EU’s Beating Cancer Plan should aim to build on and complement existing actions to concretely improve the situation of cancer patients across the EU. An effective plan should also ultimately lead to indirect benefits for all chronic diseases, for example by raising the quality of chronic disease management, prevention, improving understanding on the links between diseases, and addressing survivorship issues and non-discrimination. We also see redressing health inequalities across the EU and within countries as an important goal of the plan.