The European Partnership for Action Against Cancer (EPAAC) was launched in 2009, after the European Commission published its Communication on Action Against Cancer: European Partnership . Although this Joint Action will end in 2013, participants are committed to continue the work apart from 2014, under a renewed mandate.
– What is the EPAAC all about?
<img6555|left> After circulatory diseases, cancer was the second most common cause of death in 2006, accounting for two out of ten deaths in women and three out of ten deaths in men, equating to approximately 3.2 million EU citizens diagnosed with cancer each year.
In order to more effectively coordinate activities and actions that are taken within different policy areas by Member States and other stakeholders, with the aim of reducing the increasing and unequal European burden of cancer, the European Commission proposed a European Partnership for Action Against Cancer (EPAAC) for the period 2009-2013.
The specificity of the Partnership is that it brings together the efforts of different stakeholders into a joint response to prevent and control cancer.
EPAAC joins different partners and stakeholders in the EU Member States, Iceland and Norway. By the end of the Partnership in 2013, the objective was for all Member States to have integrated cancer plans, and to contribute to reach the target of a 15% reduction of cancer cases by 2020 (510 000 new cases).
– Work Packages (WP)
The work done within the EPAAC framework is divided into so-called Work Packages (WP), led by different organisations. Apart from WPs 1-4, which deal with administrative issues, the work on cancer includes the following WPs:
- WP 5 – Health Promotion and Prevention (led by the European Cancer Leagues (ECL))
- WP 6 Screening & Early Diagnosis (led by the Finnish Cancer Registry)
- WP 7 Healthcare (led by the Institut Català d’Oncologia – ICO)
- WP 8 Cooperation and Coordination in Cancer Research (led by the European CanCer Organisation – ECCO)
- WP 9 Cancer Data & Information (led by the Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori)
- WP 10 National Cancer Plans (led by the National Institute of Public Health in Slovenia)
Open Forum meetings
There are dedicated Open Forum meetings each year which focus on two selected WPs. In 2013, the Open Forum held in Ljubljana focused on WP 6 (Screening & Early Diagnosis) and WP 10 (National Cancer Plans)
European Code Against Cancer
One of the successful specific cancer prevention activities that have proven to be successful is the European Code Against Cancer.
It gives two very clear messages:
- certain cancers may be avoided – and health in general can be improved – by adopting healthier lifestyles; and
- cancers may be cured, or the prospects of cure greatly increased, if they are detected at an early stage.
– European Week Agains Cancer (EWAC)
The European Week Against Cancer (EWAC) was an annual health promotion campaign, organised since 1989. Its aim is to communicate cancer prevention messages, based on the European Code Against Cancer.
– The future of EPAAC – an end or a new beginning?
Although EPAAC will reach an end in 2013, it does not mean that the fight on cancer will stop there. Apart of next year, there will be a new cancer Joint Action which will build on the results achieved under the current EPAAC and will continue to coordinate stakeholders actions.
– EPHA’s role in the old-new Partnership
On 25 November, the Advisory Council held its last meeting before the end of the Partnership. EPHA, as a partner organisation in EPAAC:
- Shared its insight on how to carry on health promotion and prevention actions beyond the EPAAC framework; and
- provided advice on how to improve on information dissemination for the next cancer Joint Action;
- highlighted the importance of health related research, making reference to a recent event, which would present – through the example of the Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) – what is role for diseases and patients in shaping Horizon 2020 which could be particularly relevant for cancer research
In line of its commitments, EPHA will take actively part in the new joint action and bring added value to help reduce the hefty price our society pays every day because of the heavy burden of cancer.
The presentations given during the meeting will be available soon.