The guide, which is the first jointly-written pan-European set of policy recommendations on cancer care, was presented to the public and ministers of health of EU member states in Malta last week.
Over 2.6 million people in Europe are diagnosed with cancer each year. With this number on the rise, early diagnosis, survivorship plans and universal screening methods need to be developed on a pan-European level.
From the report:
Cancer screening - Integrated evaluation
- To secure the benefits of screening, it is essential there is routine linkage between registries containing relevant data for defining the population, performance and outcome.
- Evaluation and regular monitoring of cancer screening should also look for social inequalities, prompting research and interventions that promote equity in access to healthcare.
- The benefits and potential side effects of screening need to be clearly communicated to the public. Since different individuals will have different attitudes to risk/benefit, a scientific consensus would assist people in decision-making.
- The cost-effectiveness of a screening programme or a specific modification to it, should be evaluated prior to full implementation.
- Indicators for quality and effectiveness based on most recent evidence-based reviews should be monitored and screening programmes updated accordingly.