Proposal for a Council Recommendation on strengthening prevention through early detection: A new EU approach on cancer screening replacing Council Recommendation 2003/878/EC

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Series Details COM (2022) 474
Publication Date 20/09/2022
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Draft Council Recommendation tabled by the European Commission on 20 September 2022, setting out a fresh approach to cancer screening in the European Union (EU). It aims to replace Council Recommendation 2003/878/EC.

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Council Recommendation 2003/878/EC set out recommendations for cancer screening in the EU. It encouraged Member States to implement population-based, quality-assured screening programmes. The implementation report published in 2017 and the European Guide on Quality Improvement in Comprehensive Cancer Control pointed to several challenges and needs, most importantly that the existing Recommendation was not based on the latest evidence.

The proposed Council Recommendation aims to support cancer screening through the whole pathway of cancer care as part of a new EU-wide approach to cancer prevention in the framework of the European Commission's Europe's Beating Cancer Plan. Among other elements, it aims to support the development of a new EU-support Cancer Screening Scheme. It also proposes the regular systematic monitoring of screening programmes, the sharing of data on cancer screening, and the updating of breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screening recommendations.

The draft Recommendation was tabled by the European Commission on 20 September 2022.

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Commentary and Analysis
MedTech Europe: Press Release, 20/09/2022: European Commission’s revision proposal of the Council Recommendation on Cancer Screening will help reduce cancer inequalities in Europe

Reuters, 07/09/2022: EU wants screenings for more types of cancer as pandemic slashed check-ups
Euronews, 20/09/2022: Cancer: Brussels unveils new guidelines to boost screenings and reduce inequalities in EU
EurActiv, 20/09/2022: Commission proposes updated cancer screening recommendations

EUR-LEX: COM(2022)296: Staff Working Document accompanying the Proposal - Stakeholder Consultation: Synopsis Report
European Commission: Public Health: Cancer
European Commission: Press Release, 20/09/2022: European Health Union: A new EU approach on cancer detection – screening more and screening better
European Commission: Questions and answers: A new EU approach to cancer screening (20 September 2022)
European Commission: Remarks by Commissioner Kyriakides during the press conference on cancer screening (20 September 2022)
EPP EP Group: Newsroom, 20/09/2022: Implement new cancer screening initiative swiftly
S&D EP Group: Newsroom, 20/09/2022: S&Ds welcome the EU’s new approach to cancer screening: prevention is better than cure, health inequalities must be eradicated

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