Sunday, March 2, 2008

Cancer in Europe at Epidemic Levels

Published: Wed, 30 Jan 2008 15:44:12 GMT+01

Author: Martin Banks

Cancer in EU at 'epidemic' levels

Cancer is at epidemic levels with a million people dying of the disease across Europe every year, according to British MEP (Member of the European Parliament) John Bowis.

The UK Tory deputy was speaking after parliament's environment committee voted in favour of a resolution on combating cancer.

Bowis, EPP-ED spokesman on health, said, that "a million of our fellow citizens in the EU die each year from cancer."

"An average of only three per cent of health budgets are spent on cancer prevention. The links are clear. We have a major epidemic. We could save 330,000 lives a year."

"We need to get our act together and invest in cancer prevention."

One third of cancers are preventable, according to World Health Organisation figures.

The resolution calls on the commission to set up an institutionalised EU cancer task force composed of members from the commission, member states and parliament to meet on a regular basis.

Meanwhile, prevention and early diagnosis of cancer are key elements of a comprehensive strategy to fight cancer, said Greek MEP Antonios Trakatellis, told the committee on Tuesday.

He said,"The Slovenian EU presidency pledged to make cancer a priority and we must continue on our fight to make sure that cancer does not remain the leading cause of death in Europe."

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