Why it matters

The Joint Action on Cancer Control (CanCon) was a common effort between representatives from 17 EU Member States, co-funded by the European Commission, to improve and harmonise cancer control in Europe. The effects of the economic crisis have exacerbated the existing unacceptable inequalities in cancer care and survivorship in Europe. CanCon recognised these issues and brought together all stakeholders in cancer control to define reliable solutions.

The 3-year CanCon project aimed to contribute in different ways to reducing the cancer burden in the EU by creating a European Guide on Quality Improvement in Comprehensive Cancer Control spanning the whole patient journey from prevention to treatment and survivorship. The CanCon guide is a coherent, patient-centred document, and the good practice recommendations in the guide may, if followed, improve national cancer care planning and care delivery and reduce existing inequalities in cancer control between Member States.

“At the moment, no clear consensus exists regarding the content, format, management and implementation of long-term follow-up care plans for cancer survivors.”

What ECPC adds

ECPC was a key partner of CanCon, and actively participated in drafting the guide and the policy papers published by the Joint Action. ECPC enabled patients to share their own experiences, while patients’ views were included in the very core of the CanCon methodology, work model and final outcomes. ECPC contributed to the policy papers on inequalities and disinvestment, and especially on survivorship and rehabilitation – issues identified by the Member States as an important challenge to be addressed urgently. On the basis of the CanCon recommendations, ECPC and the European Society for Medical Oncology, in collaboration with the International Psycho-Oncology Society, have produced a practical ‘Patient Guide on Survivorship’.

The patient guide, available in 10+ languages, is also a source of information about prevention and detection of cancer recurrence and of new primary cancer and provides guidance on patient support groups and the role of healthcare professionals in providing these services. ECPC continues to promote placing survivorship cancer plans on the EU’s policy and research agenda and participates in the continuation of the CanCon – an Innovative Partnership for Action Against Cancer (iPAAC).