Parliamentary questions
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28 November 2018
Question for oral answer O-000134/2018
to the Commission
Rule 128
Daniela Aiuto, on behalf of the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality

 Subject: Policy challenges and strategies against women's cancers and related comorbidities

One in three Europeans develops cancer during their lifetime and the Member States are not doing enough to fight it. Certain forms of cancer, such as breast, uterus and cervical cancer, exist predominantly among, or are exclusive to, women. What is more, breast cancer is the most common fatal cancer for women, not only in the EU but in the whole world. Data demonstrates that if women are diagnosed early with breast cancer and receive timely treatment, the survival rate can reach around 80%. This shows the importance of quality-assured, population-based screening. If women do succeed, however, in defeating cancer, often the struggle is not over, as they face serious and usually underestimated psychological problems –especially if they underwent a hysterectomy or mastectomy. Women and their family members should receive tailored support in the form of counselling.

Although widespread, these types of women’s cancers do not receive the attention they deserve from the public and policymakers. It is very difficult for women and their families to receive holistic treatment that meets all their needs. It is vitally important that women have easy access to screening programmes, affordable and equal treatment and support, help tailored to their specific situations and information on the lifestyle factors that can help prevent cancer.

1. Will the Commission and the Member States consider preparing a strategy at EU level in order to make sure that the health sector covers all the aspects of cancer that affect women? The strategy should be based on the comprehensive collection and analysis of cancer incidents/survival data disaggregated by sex and should cover access to accurate information, prevention, quality screening, diagnosis, monitoring, access to treatment and support after recovery.

2. Does the Commission plan to prepare standards for cancer screening programmes that apply to all the Member States, in addition to supporting and investing more in research programmes and in the healthcare infrastructures of Member States where screening programmes are not as developed?

3. Will the Commission and the Member States plan a cancer prevention awareness campaign, which includes information on how to have a healthy lifestyle and on taking part in national population-based, quality-assured cancer screening programmes for breast and cervical cancers?

Last updated: 4 December 2018Legal notice