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MEP calls for joint action against cancer

The battle against cancer has been stepped up with calls for those who make policy and business decisions in Europe to join forces to fight the disease.
The battle against cancer has been stepped up with calls for those who make policy and business decisions in Europe to join forces to fight the disease.

Liberal Democrat politician and minister for the European Parliament (MEP), Liz Lynne, told ministers that screening measures, information sharing and education are crucial in combating cancer.

MEPs are expected to adopt the new resolution, which calls for more action on prevention and detection, the creation of an EU cancer taskforce, and improved education and communication about cancer.

Lynne said: "Cancer is already the second biggest killer in Europe, but the reality is that many cancers are preventable and many cancer deaths unnecessary."

"Many thousands could be saved if screening programmes were rolled out everywhere and people were educated as to why screening is crucial," she added.

The results of a recent survey showed that although 17 per cent of Austrians had been screened for colorectal cancer, only 4 per cent of Britons and 1 per cent of Cypriots had been given a similar diagnostic test. Cancer claims the lives of more than 3,000 EU citizens every day with a further 6,000 being diagnosed with the disease.

Lynne said: "The UK government is ultimately responsible for health policy, but we can and must do much more at EU level."

Lobby group MEPs Against Cancer (MAC), of which Lynne is co-chair, made similar recommendations to the EU Parliament in February 2008. According to information on its website, the number of Europeans with cancer will rise dramatically by 2015, an increase that is attributed to the ageing population.

"A recent survey suggested that only 8 per cent of men and women take the colorectal cancer test. We must improve these figures. As an oncologist I see far too many advanced cancers and I have become an advocate for early detection of cancer by screening," according to MEP and MAC co-chairman, Adamos Adamou.

10th April 2008

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