Speech by Commissioner Stella Kyriakides at the Expert Meeting on Oncology
July 13, 2022
“Check against delivery”
Minister Válek, Dr Kluge, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Let me first say how pleased I am that oncology is a top priority for the Czech Presidency in the area of health.
It is also extremely important that you have chosen to discuss three important “blocks” that are key priorities of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan.
Delivering high quality care to all cancer patients is a key commitment of our plan. The EU Network of National Comprehensive Cancer Centres that we are creating are key to this. We aim to support the uptake of high-standard, quality-assured diagnosis and treatment, including training, research and clinical trials across the EU.
There can be no first or second-class cancer patients in the EU, everyone should have access to the same standard of care. We are committed to changing the realities for cancer patients through Europe’s Beating Cancer plan, putting patients always at the centre.
Two other key initiatives are the European Cancer Information System and the European Cancer Inequalities Registry – two essential building blocks for the future European Health Data Space.
Firstly, the Information System – to which the Czech National Cancer Registry usefully contributes – is the system for monitoring and forecasting Europe’s cancer burden.
Secondly, in highlighting unacceptable inequalities in cancer care and prevention, the Cancer Inequalities Registry will help focus decision-makers’ attention and investments where it is needed the most, to close the gaps.
Thirdly, our future European Health Data Space will benefit cancer patients and society as a whole.
It will foster innovative approaches to cancer registries, allowing for better, quicker collection of information on various cancer types. Pooling and sharing knowledge, experience and data will help develop practical solutions and ground-breaking therapies for cancer patients.
Finally, and most importantly, Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan is about saving lives.
About quality of life. Ultimately any person diagnosed with cancer has these questions in mind -can I be cured, how long do I have, will I see my children grow up. It is about putting all our efforts into increasing the chances of survival.
Early detection through screening is crucial for this. Through the European Code against cancer we encourage people to take advantage of organised cancer screening programmes for breast, colorectal and cervical cancer.
But we must not forget the highest mortality in women and men is lung cancer.
We will take this into account when we present our new European approach cancer screening – a major initiative that will come from the Commission just after the summer. On the basis of the scientific advice we received, we consider that current screening programmes need to be extended to both lung and prostate cancer.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan is about each and every citizen. Each and every patient.
It is Europe’s Plan.