by | December 15, 2022 | Reports

Taking the Pulse: Tracking Cancer Inequalities in Europe

Guest article by Norbert Couespel, Policy and Research Officer at European Cancer Organisation gif maker (2)

During the European Cancer Summit held on 16 and 17 November 2022, the European Cancer Organisation launched the European Cancer Pulse, a new data visualisation tool tracking all dimensions of cancer inequalities and their resolution across Europe. Amplifying the work of the stakeholder community, the Pulse fosters evidence-based cancer policy action and strongly contributes to Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan’s goal of reducing cancer inequalities across Europe.

What is the European Cancer Pulse?

The Pulse is an interactive map visualising wide-ranging data on the status of cancer care, policy and inequalities across and within European countries. Indeed, it gathers and signposts a wide range of fragmented sources within a single and easy-to-access tool. This includes official EU statistics, research from the Swedish Institute of Health Economics and leading initiatives from the stakeholder community. In total, the Pulse includes data across 34 countries120 measurements and 20 inequalities categories.

Crucially, cancer inequalities do not consist solely in differences between countries, but also in inequities affecting particular social groups. Reflecting this, the Pulse covers both national inequalities along the patient pathway and social inequalities affecting access to care within society. 

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Hence, the Pulse aims to complement and inspire the European Cancer Inequalities Registry, by covering both additional data indicators on broader determinants of cancer inequalities, including beyond the four pillars of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan, and additional data sources, amplifying the work of the stakeholder community. 

From cancer data to insights and policy action. 

Moving forward, the European Cancer Pulse is a living tool that will keep growing to further reflect the full range of cancer inequalities affecting patients across Europe. Additional available data sources will be added and gaps in intelligence will be highlighted so that they can stimulate further research. 

A key to the success of the Pulse is that its data does not catch dust on a shelf. Rather, its goal is to help create impactful change in bringing the same level of quality of health and cancer care to every patient across Europe, regardless of origin or social factors. Indicators from the European Cancer Pulse are therefore analysed into insights to be used for discussion throughout 2023 with all interested stakeholders in the European Cancer Organisation’s Inequalities Network.  

Last but not least, the Pulse will serve as a basis for evidence-based cancer policy action, through the new National & European Parliamentarians for Cancer Action also launched at the European Cancer Summit. Bringing together national and European champions on most pressing cancer issues, this network will coalesce ideas, empower initiatives and inspire change, bridging the disconnect between EU capitals and Brussels and building a platform for the pan-European achievement of progress and equity in cancer care. 

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To achieve these goals, we strongly welcome any suggestion for additional data and interest in participating in future discussions to be made through the Pulse submission form or by direct e-mail to:  

Norbert Couespel, Policy and Research Officer 

Disclaimer: the opinions – including possible policy recommendations – expressed in the article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of EPHA. The mere appearance of the articles on the EPHA website does not mean an endorsement by EPHA. 

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