Levels of health inequality between countries and regions with respect to cancer prevention, control, access to treatment and survival are substantial. Inequalities also occur within countries, between regions, and between social groups. The European Code of Cancer Practice enshrines a series of ten overarching rights for patients, and in particular signposts what patients should expect from their health system, in order for them to achieve the best possible outcomes.
However, it is a reality of cancer care in Europe today that many patients cannot enjoy those rights, and it is only through coordinated action and policy developments at local, national and regional levels that the aim of equal access to high-quality cancer care for all will be realised.
This project is being set up to provide new data and analysis based on quantitative indicators, qualitative data and contextual information emanating from surveys. It will comprise two outputs:
Alongside regular qualitative and quantitative assessments of the country-specific situation, the project will identify challenges and specific areas of action to guide investment and interventions at EU, national and regional level under Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan.
Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan
Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan is a political commitment to turn the tide against cancer and another stepping stone towards a strong European Health Union and a more secure, better-prepared and more resilient EU.
Europe's Beating Cancer Plan is a key pillar of the European Health Union, presented in November 2020, calling for a more secure, resilient and better-prepared European Union. 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.
At the onset of the pandemic, many health systems prioritised urgent care needs, and cancer screening programmes were paused. Many women also delayed seeking health care to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, which led to a decline in breast cancer screening uptake in many OECD countries. These changes will slow progress towards earlier diagnosis made in OECD countries that have adopted breast cancer screening programmes, which led to an increase in the proportion of women of screening age receiving mammography from 57.3% in 2009 to 61.7% in 2019.
Mammography screening in women aged 50-69 within the past two years, 2009, 2019 (or nearest year) and 2020
Note: 1. Programme data. 2. Survey data. * Three-year average.
Information on data for Israel.
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Source: OECD Health Statistics 2021. Published in Health at a Glance 2021: OECD Indicators.
Latest trends and data analysis in Health at a Glance 2021: OECD Indicators (2021):
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