Metastatic Breast Cancer – How can we improve care for patients and survivors?

Cancer is the second leading cause of mortality in the EU after cardiovascular disease. 2.6 million people are diagnosed every year. Considering that Europe has a quarter of all cancer cases and less than 10% of the world’s population, cancer presents a serious threat to Europe’s society and economy, with an overall economic impact of €100 billion annually.

Female breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed form of the disease. Over 355,000 women in the EU-27 are estimated to have been diagnosed with breast cancer in 2020, with incidence trends mainly increasing. Multiple factors can explain this phenomenon, including reproductive factors, increasing obesity and physical inactivity, as well as increased screening intensity.

Among women with breast cancer, those who are diagnosed with a metastatic or advanced form face different challenges compared to women with an earlier stage of the condition. In fact, there is still a lot to be done to provide appropriate care to those who have this form of cancer, from incentivising innovative treatments to improving the psychological and back-to-work support of patients and survivors.

Earlier this year, the European Commission launched its “Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan”, with the aim of tackling the entire disease pathway around four key action areas: prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment, and quality of life of cancer patients and survivors. Breast cancer is a strong focus of this plan.

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