European Commission: proposal for a revised Council Recommendation on Cancer Screening

Brussels, 20 September 2022

The new and improved Council Recommendation could alleviate the significant disparities currently observed in the adoption of and access to cancer screening programmes in the EU Member States

COCIR welcomes the European Commission’s much awaited revision proposal of the 2003 Council Recommendation on the screening of breast, cervical and colorectal cancers, based on state-of-the-art scientific knowledge and methodologies.
We particularly favour the Commission's proposal to extend the Council Recommendation on cancer screening to lung, prostate and -to some extent- gastric cancers, based on emerging evidence from international and EU-based clinical trials regarding new screening tests.
COCIR believes that the revised Council Recommendation could foster the coherent implementation of modern screening programmes across the EU Member States, and therefore alleviate the significant disparities observed in the adoption of and access to cancer screening programmes.
Modern screening methodologies are smart, precise and targeted. They give priority to high-risk populations and adapt to the exact needs of the patient. Such personalised screening improves patient acceptance and overall experience, it minimises inconvenience, yet maximises detection benefits.
Improved data collection methodologies optimise screening protocols, such as magnetic resonance imaging. Innovative technologies, interoperable high-quality imaging databases and health data registries would improve results in cancer diagnosis, treatment, after-care, as well as prognosis.

‘Today marks a milestone for the European healthcare community.

The European Commission’s revision proposal of the Council Recommendation emphasizes the importance of early detection through high-quality smart screening.
Early detection and diagnosis of cancers are linked with curable stages of cancer, less invasive treatment options and better patient rehabilitation. Precision diagnostic equipment can ensure early detection and substantially reduce cancer mortality in Europe.

To this end, COCIR urges the Council to adopt the proposed Recommendation’, said Annabel Seebohm, COCIR Secretary General.

For more information, contact:

Annabel Seebohm
COCIR Secretary General        
Tel: +32 (0)2 706 8961