Brussels, 06 Jun 2003
The European Parliament's Women's Rights committee has adopted a non-binding resolution, calling for increased research into the prevention of breast cancer.
Debating the resolution on 5 June, MEPs welcomed the allocation of 400 million euro for cancer research under the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6), but stated that further research is needed into the relationship between breast cancer and potential risk factors such as tobacco, hormones and the impact of modern life-styles.
Dutch MEP, Ria Oomen-Ruijten said that more research is also needed into the reasons why statistics indicate a higher of incidences in some European countries than others. Picking up on the issue, Dutch MEP Johanna Boogerd-Quaak noted the importance of examining the different approaches across Europe as crucial to tackling the disease. In particular, she called for further investigation into why the risk of contracting cancer is 60 per cent higher in Western Europe than in Eastern Europe.
In addition to increased research efforts, MEPS also underlined the need to improve screening, diagnosis, treatment and aftercare across the EU. Screening alone could save up to 25, 000 lives each year, said the EU Commissioner on Employment and Social Affairs, Anna Diamantopoulou. She announced that the Commission has made a proposal to Member States, recommending increased efforts to improve detection and screening procedures at national level.
However, rapporteur Karin Jöns noted that improving screening or increasing research efforts should not be done in isolation. Member States could set up networks of certified multidisciplinary breast centres, where each team would be made up of experienced surgeons, radiologists, oncologists, pathologists, nurses and radiographers who specialise in breast disease, suggested the German MEP. To read the report, please