Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan: A new EU approach to prevention, treatment and care

The European Commission has presented a plan aimed at beating cancer, which has been defined as  a main priority in the area of health of the von der Leyen Commission and a key pillar of a strong European Health Union.

With new technologies, research and innovation as the starting point, the Cancer Plan sets out a new EU approach to cancer prevention, treatment and care. It will tackle the entire disease pathway, from prevention to quality of life of cancer patients and survivors, focusing on actions where the EU can add the most value.

Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan will be supported by actions spanning across policy areas from employment, education, social policy and the environment and climate, to transport, cohesion policy, and taxation.

The Cancer Plan is structured around four key action areas supported by a number of flagship initiatives. It will be implemented using the whole range of Commission funding instruments, with a total of €4 billion being earmarked for actions addressing cancer, including from the EU4Health programme, Horizon Europe and the Digital Europe programme.

The four action areas revolve around prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment and an improvement of the quality of life of cancer patients and survivoers.

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, said: “In 2020, while we were all fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us were fighting a silent battle. The battle against cancer. In 2020, we lost 1.3 million Europeans to this disease. And sadly, the number of cases is on the rise. This is why we present Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan today. The fight of those battling cancer is our fight as well, in Europe.”

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