BRUXELLES – New EU recommendations to increase cancer prevention with a broader indication of screening. Breast cancer screening is now recommended for women between the ages of 45 and 74 (from the current 50-69), and for cervical cancer by the papillomavirus test between the ages of 30 and 65. Testing for colorectal cancer is expected between the ages of 50 and 74, and for lung cancer for heavy smokers and former smokers between the ages of 50 and 75. Prostate antigen testing is expected for men up to 70 years of age. Helicobacter pylori screening is then indicated, where there is a high incidence of gastric cancer.
The target, explains the European Commission, is to reach 90% screening for breast, colorectal and cervical cancer by 2025 on how many provided for in the European Cancer Plan, and extend targeted screening on other cancers such as those of the prostate, lungs and stomach. The aim of the proposed recommendation is to increase the number of screenings, covering more target groups and more cancers, with a new approach, based on the latest scientific evidence and developments available.
“Cancer is a health priority for us – says Margaritis Schinas, vice president for the promotion of the European lifestyle in the EU Commission -. Over the past two years, Covid has put cancer prevention, detection and diagnosis to the test. Detecting cancer early can make a real difference by increasing treatment options and saving lives. And for this, we must strengthen screening throughout the EU “.
“In 2020, about 2.7 million people living in the EU were diagnosed with cancer and over 1.3 million people lost their lives – says EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides. We know that early detection saves lives and improves the quality of life. Today, as part of the European Cancer Plan, we are defining a new course for screening “.
The European cancer screening program concerns types of cancer which account for almost 55% of all new cases diagnosed in the Union each yearhe stressed. “The EU must act quickly and close the gap created by the impact of COVID-19 on cancer diagnosis and treatment. Together we can all make a difference for cancer trends.”
The new indications on screening, after 20 years from those in force, they will see European support for 38.5 million under the EU4Health program and 60 million under Horizon Europe. The Commission will propose additional funding for cancer screening under the EU4Health 2023 program, further support may also be provided by European regional, cohesion and social funds.