11 February 2017

Encouraging developments in the area of national cancer screening programmes

The implementation report on the 2003 Council Recommendation on cancer screening, published today, reveals a steep rise in national screening programmes for breast, cervical and colorectal cancer.
Vytenis Andriukaitis, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, said "Breast, cervical and colorectal cancer claim the lives of around a quarter of a million European citizens each year. Early detection - as well as cancer prevention - saves lives, and so this is where we must continue focusing our efforts. The Council's recommendation and the Commission's quality assurance guidelines have led to most EU countries putting in place organised, high quality screening programmes. This is a major step forward for citizens' health."
Today, 25 EU countries have population-based programmes for breast cancer, 22 for cervical cancer and 20 for colorectal cancer screening, as compared with 18, 17 and 12, respectively, since the first report was published 10 years ago.
Nearly 25 million women aged 50-69 years were invited to mammography screening in the last reporting year, and 110 million men and women aged 50-74 years could potentially undergo screening for colorectal cancer.
In addition to highlighting the status and volume of screening programmes in EU countries, today's report includes a set of essential indicators to document the quality of screening. Read the full report.

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