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The growing number of cases of rare diseases has raised eyebrows in the EU and policymakers are now exploring ways to understand and tackle the complexity of the phenomenon.
Rare cancers – those with fewer than five cases out of 10,000 – belong to this category. It may look small, but according to European Commission estimates, about 246,000 people across the EU are affected by such types of cancer, making them more significant than they appear.
Sarcomas are a diverse family of rare cancers. Due to poor diagnosis and low awareness among health practitioners, they pose a particular challenge to both patients and policymakers.
The complexity of diagnosing and treating rare forms of cancers like sarcomas can be addressed by a multi-level approach and better coordination among member states, insist experts in the field.
The European Commission’s priority when tackling rare cancers such as sarcomas is to ensure European Reference Networks (ERNS) are put in place so that all patients have access to the best expertise available in the EU, Vytenis Andriukaitis told Euractiv.com in an interview.
The diverse nature of rare cancers like sarcomas poses severe challenges to the medical community and policy-makers who need to seek a holistic approach, according to a report.
EU member states are exploring ways to effectively tackle the rising occurrence and complex nature of rare cancers known as sarcomas.
European red tape should not be an obstacle to effective healthcare. For patients with diseases like sarcoma, waiting means suffering and often avoidable death, writes Marlene Mizzi.