EuropaColon Making Waves

EuropaColon is becoming more active in the policy arena for a number of reasons:

  • We are disappointed by the considerable inequalities in cancer care that exist across and between EU Member States, in terms of access to formal population screening, medicines and also latest treatment and care
  • Not all Member States have a comprehensive National Cancer Plan setting out the Government’s position on cancer services; without this Plan available, patients will struggle to get the best treatment and care
  • Despite the 2003 Commission recommendations and 2010 Guidelines on colorectal cancer screening, only 6 Member States have fully operational running formal population-based screening programmes. (Formal population screening means every eligible citizen is invited to be screened.) ((Reference - Eline Scheuder et al GUT 2015; 64:1637-1649)

These are essential considerations if people are to have access to the best available screening, treatment or care. We will continue to campaign to ensure these themes are embraced in all Member States.

Working with our country partners we will extend and strengthen local patient advocacy skills, targeting MPs and MEPs to improve their understanding of local health issues and the inequalities that exist.  We will encourage our Affiliate and Associate groups to develop close working relationships with MPs in their Country.

Energising Colorectal Cancer Screening

Over the years EU Institutions have increasingly sought to support Member States’ efforts to improve cancer prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment and care and research. However as health is a devolved issue the EU has no direct influence about what happens within a country.

EuropaColon is determined to overcome these inequalities in Europe! To do this we are working closely with our screening adviser, Professor Stephen Halloran, and hope shortly to launch a pilot task force to visit a select number of countries to re-energise their screening programmes.

The task force will hold their first meeting in Vienna in October and hope to attract suitable funding to commence country meetings in 2017. We will shortly be announcing the list of members of this Taskforce and provide more information about their activities.


Written Declaration on the Fight Against Colorectal Cancer

In December 2010 the EU Parliament adopted a declaration to support the fight against colorectal cancer, signed by a majority of Members of the European Parliament. This Declaration if acted upon has the potential to save many lives.

Colorectal cancer is the second cause of cancer deaths in the EU; second only to lung cancer in men and breast cancer in women. Many of these deaths occur needlessly, as they could be prevented through screening and early detection.

This is a "call for action" from the European Parliament to increase pressure on the Commission and the Member States to take action in this important health area. The declaration will act as a platform to assist EuropaColon in making contact with MEPs to support our work across Europe in order to save lives and give citizens of Europe access to the most up to date treatment and care.

EuropaColon will be working to bring the benefits of screening and early diagnosis to the attention of governments, ministries an citizens, to raise awareness of the savings, in terms of lives and cost to the economy, achieved from early diagnosis through formal population screening and effective treatment and care.

The written declaration can be downloaded - Here

EuropaColon White Paper

Our White Paper aims to establish the boundaries for the treatment and care of colorectal cancer patients across Europe. As far as we know this is the first White Paper specifically for Colorectal Cancer and reflects the state of colorectal cancer treatment and care in Europe.

All too often in these days of financial stringency health features lower down a government’s priority list than road infrastructure and consequently citizens are left to endure less appropriate standards of care. We hope this White Paper can establish the standards that should be adopted across Europe.

Read the full White Paper by clicking here. A summary can be found by clicking here. 


Barometer 2015

Every two years we undertake a review of challenges relevant to the delivery of colorectal cancer care across Europe. The results of the second Barometer were, to be honest, a disappointment.

National Cancer Control Plans for example in some countries are regularly reviewed and updated but in others this is not the case. The benefit of a regular review should recognise the considerable advances taking place in cancer treatment and care and bring these benefits to the clinic so that patients can receive the best care. In some countries a document is created by a few interested parties but not shared with others; many who deliver the treatment have never seen the document. As a result the potential health benefits are not shared among the population.

Across all aspects of the Barometer work needs to be done to improve services, screening, treatment and care so that a patient in any country can expect to be receiving the highest standards of care. We are sure that while our Barometer only looks at colorectal cancer, there are similar difficulties with other cancers.

Read the 2015 Health Check Barometer document by clicking here

Barometer 2013

This was our first attempt at reviewing the main challenges for colorectal cancer in Europe and was published during 2013 with a meeting at the European Parliament.

The process started to identify shortcomings affecting the treatment and care of people with colorectal cancer. The purpose of the document was to help audiences understand how care in different countries was comparing to that in a neighbor country. We also hoped that these comparisons would help our groups articulate how care in their country compared with that in other countries in Europe.

Read the 2013 Health Check Barometer document by clicking here

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