Lung cancer inequalities: Patient advocates at the European Parliament

Today's guest post comes from Stefania Vallone, president of Lung Cancer Europe (LuCE). 

Thousands of people are diagnosed with lung cancer in Europe every year and sadly this is the biggest cancer killer. Lung cancer is one of the major public health problems today and it requires a global solution. As patient advocates, we are really committed to networking with other stakeholders in order to reduce incidence and mortality, and improve quality of life of patients and relatives.

But these are not easy challenges even now when some prevention measures related to tobacco are being implemented and diagnostic tools and therapies are more effective and safe nowadays.

The situation is heterogeneous across Europe and causes persisting inequities, particularly in the eastern part. LuCE aims to identify these disparities and works to get that every European patient has the right of access to best treatment and care as possible, without discrimination on the basis of place of residence.

In response to that, LuCE is working with health authorities and the scientific community to face our challenges in prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care. And on November 16th 2016, we held an event at the European Parliament (Brussels) to raise awareness among different stakeholders and get their commitment with lung cancer challenges. This event was held in collaboration with the Association of European Cancer Leagues (ECL) and it has been hosted by MEP Alojz Peterle, also President of MAC.

Patients, politicians, physicians, patient advocates, journalists, pharmaceutical companies and other stakeholders participated in this event, in which the current situation of lung cancer in Europe was showed from different perspectives. This was an excellent opportunity to propose a call for action, encouraging the attendees to give a step forward, and working together to get improvements in early detection, accurate diagnosis, more effective and safe treatments and faster access to innovative therapies, ensuring sustainability of different health systems.

Also during the event, LuCE launched the LuCE Report on Lung Cancer: Challenges in lung cancer in Europe comprising a call to action for all the EU stakeholders in health care. This report analyses the current lung cancer landscape in Europe and highlights patients´ and caregivers´ priorities, needs and proposals, encouraging health authorities, health professionals, companies, patient organisations and the society to implement solutions. This is the first in a row of annual reports on LC that LuCE will release in upcoming years. This report can be downloaded on LuCE website: www.lungcancereurope.eu.

If you have any question or comment about this event, we invite you to contact us: luce@etop-eu.org

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