June 2, 2023
Council updates cancer screening recommendation

The council is making a brand new advice on most cancers screening to cut back the loss of life price of most cancers and scale back the incidence of invasive cancers. Most cancers is a significant explanation for morbidity and loss of life throughout Europe. An estimated 2.7 million individuals within the Union have been identified with most cancers in 2020.

Vlastimil Válek, Czech Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Health

Most cancers is a horrible scourge, however we should not lose hope of combating it. Screening applications to detect cancers at an early stage might be an efficient instrument to ship the perfect accessible therapy in people, earlier than signs even seem.

Vlastimil Válek, Czech Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Well being

Lung, prostate and abdomen most cancers screening

Whereas most cancers screening recommendation previous to 2003 was restricted to breast, cervical and colorectal most cancers, member states agreed to broaden the main focus:

  • lung most cancers: nations ought to discover the feasibility and effectiveness of screening utilizing low-dose computed tomography. Specific consideration must be paid to figuring out and focusing on high-risk profiles.
  • prostate most cancers: given the present state of information and the quantity of opportunistic screening, nations ought to consider the feasibility and effectiveness of implementing organized programmes.
  • Gastric most cancers: Nations and areas with excessive gastric incidence and loss of life charges ought to think about most cancers screening methods.

The advice on cervical most cancers requires member states to contemplate adapting to particular person threat based mostly on ages and ranges, people’ human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination historical past. HPV may cause cervical (and different) cancers.

Relating to breast most cancers, the Council advice recommends a decrease age restrict of 45 years and an higher age restrict of 74 (along with screening with mammography beneficial for girls aged 50 to 69 years).

Deal with the appliance

Whereas most cancers screening is just one aspect, the Council additionally recommends that sufficient, well timed and complementary diagnostic procedures and coverings be supplied for people with a optimistic screening take a look at. They need to additionally think about their human and monetary sources and well being care capacities when working most cancers screening programmes.

This give attention to the feasibility of increasing most cancers screening applications is ready in opposition to the background of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has hampered well being promotion and prevention applications and negatively impacted entry to early detection and therapy of most cancers.

The advantages and downsides of scanning

Screening makes it doable to detect cancers at an early stage or presumably earlier than they seem or turn into invasive. Some lesions can then be handled extra successfully in order that sufferers have a greater probability of restoration.

Nonetheless, there are additionally inherent limitations that will have opposed results for the inhabitants being screened. These limitations embody false optimistic or false unfavourable outcomes, overdiagnosis and subsequent overtreatment, in addition to dangers from screening and testing strategies.


The ‘Europe’s Most cancers Beating Plan’ of three February 2021 introduced its help for member states to make sure that 90% of the EU inhabitants eligible for breast, cervical and colorectal most cancers screenings are supplied screening by 2025. The plan additionally introduced a revision of the 2003 plan. Council advice on most cancers screening.

Primarily based on the scientific opinion of the Chief Scientific Advisory Group, the Fee submitted a proposal – on September 20, 2022 – for a brand new most cancers screening proposal.

Subsequent steps

Primarily based on the knowledge supplied by the member states, the Fee will report on the implementation of most cancers screening applications on the newest by the top of the fourth 12 months after the adoption of this advice.

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