European Parliament “Written Declaration” – Press Release March 2010
THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT ADOPTS DECLARATION ON THE FIGHT AGAINST BREAST CANCER IN THE EU
Brussels– On 25 March 2010, the European Parliament adopted the Written Declaration on the Fight Against Breast Cancer in the EU (0071/2009) which calls for the implementation of measures across Europe to fight this disease which is the leading cause of death in European women aged 35 to 59. A majority of MEPs – 381 – signed the Declaration, which was backed and promoted by EUROPA DONNA – The European Breast Cancer Coalition through an information campaign at the European Parliament.
“The adoption of the Declaration is a significant step forward at a European level and must now be taken to a national level. The European Parliament has already recognised the need for high quality breast care through its Resolutions on Breast Cancer of 2003 and 2006 and by publishing the European Guidelines for Quality Assurance in Breast Cancer Screening and Diagnosis. This Declaration serves to remind MEPs and inform new MEPs that these still need to be implemented across the EU,” said Ellen Verschuur (Netherlands), President of EUROPA DONNA.
As stipulated in the Declaration, the EU President is now called upon to forward the Declaration, together with the names of the signatories, to the parliaments of the Member States. It will also now be published in the Official Journal of the European Parliament. The Declaration was drafted with input from EUROPA DONNA and was launched by MEP Elizabeth Lynne (UK) with co-signatories MEPs Michail Tremopoulos (Greece), Lívia Járóka (Hungary) and Lidia Joanna Geringer de Oedenberg (Poland).
Every year 331,392 women in the European Union are diagnosed with breast cancer and 89,674 women die of the disease. Mammography screening can reduce deaths from breast cancer by up to 35% in women between 50 and 69. The Declaration therefore calls for the following:
- Member States to introduce nationwide breast screening, in accordance with EU guidelines
- The Commission to create a progress report on implementation of mammography screening in all EU countries every 2 years
- The Commission to support studies to look at whether screening is useful for women over 69 years of age and under 50
- Member States to provide multidisciplinary specialist breast units in accordance with EU guidelines by 2016, and the Commission to deliver a regular progress report
- The Commission to present up-to-date, reliable statistics on breast cancer and support the development of national cancer registers
- The Commission to develop a certification protocol for specialist breast units in accordance with EU guidelines by 2011 and to provide adequate financing for this
- The EU President to forward this declaration, together with the names of the signatories, to the parliaments of the Member States
To read the 2006 Resolution click here.