EUROPA DONNA – The European Breast Cancer Coalition

is an independent non-profit organisation whose members are affiliated groups from countries throughout Europe. The Coalition works to raise awareness of breast cancer and to mobilise the support of European women in pressing for improved breast cancer education, appropriate screening, optimal treatment and increased funding for research. EUROPA DONNA represents the interests of European women regarding breast cancer to local and national authorities as well as to institutions of the European Union.

EUROPA DONNA Survey on the Current State of Breast Services in Europe

In July/August 2020, EUROPA DONNA – The European Breast Cancer Coalition carried out a Survey throughout its 47 member countries to provide a snapshot of the current state of Breast Services in Europe from the perspective of patient advocacy organisations. The survey covered mammography screening programmes and diagnosis, specialist breast units, metastatic breast cancer, access to medicines, work/insurance issues, as well as COVID-19.  We are pleased to announce that the results of the survey have now been published.

To see the full report click here.

Free Webinar on De-Escalation of Breast Cancer Treatments Organised by EORTC and BIG 

The European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) and the Breast International Group (BIG) are hosting a free webinar on “De-Escalation Of Breast Cancer Treatments” on 14 October from 13:00-14:00 CEST. The main topic of this session will focus on the growing importance of treatment de-escalation to improve breast cancer patients’ quality of life by avoiding unnecessary over-treatment. Breast cancer experts from the EORTC and BIG networks will give examples of de-escalation clinical trials and will explain how they may help breast cancer patients by safely reducing treatment burden. Europa Donna Executive board member Elizabeth Bergsten Nordstrom will present the Patient’s perspective on this topic.

More information on the webinar’s page.

European Breast Cancer Conference – (EBCC – 12) – Virtual

EBCC -12 was held Virtually 2-3 October 2020. This was a unique experience where you could view live broadcasts for the famous oxford style debates, best practice sessions, multidisciplinary teams in the real world sessions, best and late breaking abstracts and much more. No time to view all sessions? Then you can watch the “on demand” sessions at your leisure. For more information click here.

Europa Donna Press release

Launch of The European Code of Cancer Practice: Championing the Rights of Cancer Patients Across Europe

Brussels, 23 September 2020: The European Cancer Organisation today launched a brand new initiative for empowering European citizens and cancer patients with ten key overarching Rights, signposting what cancer patients in Europe should expect from their healthcare system. The European Code of Cancer Practice (The Code) has been produced to assist every person with cancer across Europe to receive the best possible care, treatment, and support. Executive Board member, Sema Erdem is Co-Chair of the Patient Advisory Committee and worked on the team that developed The Code. During the launch meeting today, Sema spoke about key right n. 2: Information. You can also see a video of Sema discussing this right here.

Press Release
For more information on The Code click here

In Memory of Karen Benn

It is with great sadness that EUROPA DONNA – The European Breast Cancer Coalition mourns the loss of Karen Benn, our Deputy CEO. Karen was a dedicated advocate working relentlessly to further Europa Donna’s advocacy goals for more than 18 years. Her intelligence, grace and communication skills enabled her to make an enormous contribution to Europa Donna carrying out projects in a wide variety of areas, from policy at the European Parliament to research projects with BIG and the European Commission, from ECIBC to managing our Advocacy Training course for many years.

Her acumen, her wit, her beauty, and her dedication to breast cancer advocacy will be greatly missed, but never forgotten. Her life and career serve as an example of what an advocate can be and what an advocate can accomplish on behalf of others. We will continue to learn from her example- to carry out and improve our advocacy programs wherever we are in Europe. That is what she would want and that is what we shall do.

2020 Cancer Incidence and Mortality in EU-27 Countries

22 July 2020- The Joint Research Centre- JRC, released the 2020 estimates on the burden of cancer in the EU. The new estimates confirm that female Breast Cancer is still considered to be the most commonly diagnosed cancer with over 355,000 women in the EU-27 being diagnosed in 2020. For more details see:

COVID-19 and Breast Cancer

During this time, EUROPA DONNA – The European Breast Cancer Coalition continues to provide our services, aiming to ensure as minimal an impact as possible on our programmes and plans advancing breast cancer advocacy.  We are currently moving forward with various activities using virtual meetings and look forward to resuming our normal activities as soon as possible.

We realise this is a difficult and challenging period for all citizens and certainly for breast cancer patients and survivors as they may be at higher risk for contracting COVID-19 in a more serious form.  We encourage everyone to follow the guidelines and requirements in force in their individual countries.

ABC Global Alliance Joint Statement on The Impact of COVID-19 on Cancer Patient Organisations

On 6 July, the ABC Global Alliance together with 7 global cancer coalitions and alliances, representing 650 patient advocacy and other cancer organizations and the interests of over 14 million patients around the world, released a Statement to call for a global plan of action for cancer to meet the challenges of future pandemics or health crises. The statement highlights the need for patient advocacy organizations, governments and health services at the national and global level to work together with other key stakeholders including industry and academia, to ensure that we regain the ground that has been lost to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Full document available here.







The Transforming Breast Cancer Together initiative, of which Europa Donna is a member, has published a statement highlighting some of the most pressing challenges that the COVID-19 outbreak has brought upon breast cancer patients.

We are also providing links here to resources that have been developed by EPF European Patients Forum and the ABC Global Alliance. The EPF is an umbrella organisation that works with patients’ groups in public health and health advocacy across Europe and has put together a resource page dedicated to COVID-19. The ABC Global Alliance, a multi-stakeholder platform for those interested in collaborating on common projects relating to advanced breast cancer, to inform patients and support oncology professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although it was primarily created for the MBC/ABC community, the resources can be useful to patients undergoing treatment for cancer, cancer survivors and those with a compromised immune system. These do not represent the opinions or recommendations of Europa Donna but may be helpful to you at this difficult time of crisis across Europe.

EPF Covid-19 Resources

ABC Global Alliance Covid-19 and Cancer

ECIBC Information Corner on COVID-19 and breast cancer

BRESO -The European Breast Surgical Oncology Certification Curriculum published

EUROPA DONNA is pleased to announce that the BRESO -The European Breast Surgical Oncology Certification Curriculum -Theoretical and practical knowledge curriculum for European Breast Surgeons has been published in the European Journal of Surgical Oncology.  ED has been advocating for European standards for breast surgery for many years to ensure that women receive high quality care which then results in better outcomes.  ED CEO Susan Knox served as the patient advocate representative on the BRESO organisational/management structure working group during the development over the last 18 months which led to the launch of the curriculum.

For more information on BRESO click here.

Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan

Milan 2 March 2020 – EUROPA DONNA – The European Breast Cancer Coalition Executive Director/CEO Susan Knox has submitted EUROPA DONNA’s response to the Roadmap consultation for Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan which was open from 4 February 2020 through 3 March 2020. The plan, an ambitious initiative tasked by European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen to Stella Kyriakides, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety and former EUROPA DONNA President, will propose actions at every stage of the disease: prevention, diagnosis, treatment and survivorship.

Feedback form EUROPA DONNA

Brussels 4 February 2020 – EUROPA DONNA – The European Breast Cancer Coalition Executive Director/CEO Susan Knox attended the event to launch Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium supported by the MEPs Against Cancer Interest Group on February 4, World Cancer Day.  The plan, an ambitious initiative tasked by European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen to Stella Kyriakides, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety and former EUROPA DONNA President, will propose actions at every stage of the disease: prevention, diagnosis, treatment and survivorship.  As part of the Plan, the European Commission has launched a public consultation that will be open until 7 May 2020.

For full details about the Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan click here

ED Press release

Europa Donna Supports Transforming Breast Cancer Together:European Elections Manifesto 2019

Brussels, 9 April 2019 –The Transforming Breast Cancer Initiative launched a manifesto entitled “European Elections Manifesto 2019: Seizing the Opportunities for Breast Cancer Patients”,which urges incoming Members of the European Parliament and the European Commission to ensure that breast cancer prevention and care are a top priority during their mandate, and that the issue ranks high on both the EU and Member States agendas.  For more information see the press release and full Election Manifiesto.

European Breast Cancer Council manifesto 2018: Genetic risk prediction testing in breast cancer

The European Breast Cancer Council manifesto 2018: Genetic risk prediction testing in breast cancer that emanated from EBCC-11 has now been published in the European Journal of Cancer 106 (2019) 45-53. ED Deputy CEO, Karen Benn represented ED on the Manifesto Committee and is a co-author.

European Commission Initiative On Breast Cancer – ECIBC Joint Research Centre (JRC)

EUROPA DONNA has been advocating for the development of an accreditation scheme for breast cancer services as well as a new edition of the European Guidelines for quality assurance in breast cancer screening and diagnosis. This European Union project is now under way and is being managed by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre; it is called ECIBC (European Commission Initiative on Breast Cancer) and is overseen by DG Sante. ED’s Executive Director Susan Knox takes part in the Guidelines Development Group and Deputy CEO/Head of Public Affairs Karen Benn takes part in the Quality Assurance Scheme Development Group. ED is a stakeholder and will continue to be invited to make presentations and to participate in other meetings regarding the development of this project, which began in September 2015.

Written Declaration On the Fight Against Breast Cancer in the EU (0017/2015) Adopted

On 22 July 2015, the European Parliament adopted the written declaration “On the Fight Against Breast Cancer in the EU” (0017/2015), which calls for the implementation of measures across Europe to fight this disease, the leading cause of death in European women aged 35 to 59. A majority of MEPs signed the declaration, which was co-authored by 10 Members of European Parliament and backed by EUROPA DONNA – The European Breast Cancer Coalition. See here for more details.