MEPs draw attention to importance of fight against breast cancer

The non-binding resolution adopted by the European Parliament on 5 June calls for the fight against breast cancer to be made a health policy priority. In this context, MEPs stress that the prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment and aftercare must be improved across the EU.

Breast cancer remains the most common cause of death among women aged 35 to 55. In the year 2000 alone, 79,000 women died, more than one-third of those that fell victim to the disease.

MEPs say in order to decrease the breast cancer mortality rate by one-quarter before 2008, a number of steps could be taken in the Union.

  • Member States could offer to all women aged from 50 to 69 a mammography every two years.
  • The EUR 400 million allocated for cancer research under the Sixth Framework Research Programme could be extended to research into the relationship between breast cancer and potential risk factors, such as tobacco, hormones and life-style.
  • The Commission could present a proposal for a recommendation on mammography and organise, in conjunction with the Italian Presidency, a conference on cancer in late 2003.

On 8 May, the Commission put forward a proposal for a Council Recommendation outlining best practice guidelines and quality standards for the screening of several cancer types, including breast cancer (see also,

EURACTIV 9 May 2003).


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