New Written Declaration on breast cancer released in the European Parliament urges MEPs to address breast cancer issues

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A Written Declaration on the Fight Against Breast Cancer  in the European Union co-authored by ten MEPs and backed by EUROPA DONNA – The European Breast Cancer Coalition – was recently released. It calls for the implementation of measures across Europe to battle this disease, which is the leading cause of death in European women aged 35 to 59, and it emphasises the needs of women with metastatic breast cancer. For the Written Declaration to be adopted a majority of MEPs must sign it before 27 July 2015.

“This is our call to all MEPs in all 28 member states to sign this Declaration. This Written Declaration serves as a reminder to MEPs, new and old, of the need to implement the European Resolutions on Breast Cancer and the European Guidelines for Quality Assurance in Breast Cancer Screening and Diagnosis (EU guidelines) which we are striving to have implemented Europe-wide,” said Susan Knox, EUROPA DONNA Executive Director.

The submission of the Declaration is an initiative of MEP Nessa Childers (Ireland) with co-signatories MEPs Simona Bonafè (Italy), Anna Záborská (Slovakia), Lidia Joanna Geringer de Oedenberg (Poland), Françoise Grossetête (France), Marisa Matias (Portugal), Emma McClarkin (UK), Biljana Borzan (Croatia), Alojz Peterle (Slovenia) and Miriam Dalli (Malta). The declaration has been distributed to all MEPs and will be available in all EU languages on the European Parliament website

Every year 367,090 women in the European Union are diagnosed with breast cancer and 91,495 women die of the disease. The lifetime risk of developing breast cancer for women in the EU-28 is 1 in 8. Early diagnosis through population based mammography screening programmes together with care and treatment in specialist breast units improves both mortality and quality of life. The Declaration therefore calls for the following:

  • Member States to implement nationwide breast screening, in accordance with EU guidelines
  • Member States to provide multidisciplinary specialist breast units (SBUs) in accordance with EU guidelines by the 2016 deadline
  • Member States to ensure that people with metastatic breast cancer have access to, and are treated in, an SBU and that their ongoing needs for care and psychosocial services are co-ordinated and supported by the SBU, as per EU guidelines