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Why become a Member of Digestive Cancers Europe?

Digestive Cancers Europe is the new organisation that has grown out of EuropaColon, which has been representing the voice of the colorectal cancer community for almost 15 years with 40 member groups in 30 countries across Europe.

Digestive Cancers Europe and its national members all share a common Mission: To contribute to early diagnosis and decreased mortality from digestive cancers and to increase overall survival and quality of life.

We aim to represent the 800,000 people who are diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus, stomach, pancreas, colon, rectum and other rare digestive cancers every year in Europe, as well as the 1.5 million digestive cancer survivors and the families of the 500,000 patients who die every year from digestive cancers.

Membership of Digestive Cancers Europe gives the opportunity to:

  • Be part of a larger network that facilitates experiences exchange and sharing of best practices

  • Grow your organisation through skills and capacity building workshops

  • Play an active part in European wide awareness campaigns

  • Be able to participate and comment on important policy documents

25 Good reasons to be a Member - in short: We are stronger together!

How does membership work?

  1. As a well organised group speaking with a single voice at the European level, we are much stronger than a lone voice. Our united voice can only be the result of the wealth of ideas and experience from the national associations.

  2. We will help facilitate information exchange and co-decision-making amongst national organisations.

  3. In countries with little support for patient representation, we can help create leverage and capacity.

       ... in sum we all work together: bottom-up, horizontal and top-down.

A. Competences

  1. Learning from each other: every country has its own competencies and skills but together we can learn best practices from each other and implement them in our countries. We can learn what works and what does not work.

  2. We organise and participate in workshops to educate patients and patient representatives about all aspects of managing a disease and advocating for better conditions for patients (including non-medical aspects).

B. Campaigning

      3. We campaign for formal population screening for colorectal cancer. Tens of thousands of lives can be saved every year if
          screening is conducted properly.

      4. We also create awareness campaigns for the general public on how digestive cancers can be prevented and how screening can
          help to detect colorectal cancer at an early stage.

C. Cost-effectiveness

  1. We are all developing the same materials and services, often re-inventing the wheel as we move forward. By a better 
    coordination of efforts, we can save a significant part of our already scarce resources.

  2. We work with all our members on common projects.

D. Coherence between national and regional policy

  1. We can hold governments to account.

  2. We meet national, regional and European representatives, including in the European Commission, the European Parliament,
    WHO Europe, IARC and other international organisations. We can only expect them to have coherent policies for digestive
    cancers if we are in agreement on what needs to be done at the various levels of decision-making.

  3. We are part of the Innovative Partnership for Action Against Cancer (IPAAC), the initiative created by the European
    Commission that represents the cancer specialists from all EU member states.

      10. We develop position papers on a variety of topics such as on the use of biosimilars, on the need for screening, on the research
agenda, etc. We need to listen to patients from across the region to have a robust and complete view of all the challenges
            and opportunities.

E. Clinical and medical practice

      11. Together with medical societies and other professional organisations, we develop guidelines for clinical and medical practice.
            Since these guidelines often apply in the whole region, it is desireable to have input from the patient community in every
            country to understand how guidelines should be formulated and what can be done for them to get traction at national level.

      12. We actively participate in medical congresses across Europe. We can help our members get free access to attend some of
            those congresses, including travel costs.

      13. We run patient surveys to understand the needs of patients in different settings with the objective to improve current
            standards based on the insights received.

F. Patient support services

      14. Helping patients with practical advice and help them navigate the healthcare system is one of our key priorities. Some
            countries have developed real state-of-the-art patient services, including helpdesk facilities, psycho-oncological services,
            back-to-work support, etc.

      15. In the future, technology will be developed to help patients and healthcare professionals to manage their disease. We will
            play an active role in this, in order to ensure that all patient insights from different settings in Europe are captured.

G. Research & innovation

  1. We advocate for more research in digestive cancers.

  2. We participate in projects created by others but we also plan to come with our own initiatives. Since most research projects have an international scope, it is better to work together.

     18. We will also develop services to help pharmaceutical companies integrate the digestive cancer patients’ voice when designing 
           clinical trials and Patient Reported Outcomes Measurements (PROMs).

H. Access to funding

      19. Even if every country has its own funding strategies, we will help our members to understand best practices and how to get
            funding from the traditional way to more innovative ways e.g. crowd-funding and the offer of added-value services.

      20. We also advocate to have some of our service reimbursed as part of a public service for patients.

      21. Many of our member organisations get funded by the same companies. It makes sense to share our understanding of the
            needs of these companies and their impact on digestive cancers to understand how we can all work with the same companies
            in different countries.

      22. We will also advocate to get more funding from the European Commission and European Parliament. This will only be
            successful if sufficient national partners are part of the project.

I. Education

      23. Together we can set up patient information campaigns on new scientific and medical solutions, such as diagnostics, biomarker
            testing, how to choose the right hospital, how to develop back-to-work programmes.

J. Masterclass

      24. At our annual Masterclass, which takes place at the World Congress on Gastrointestinal Cancer organised by the European
            Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO), in Barcelona, participants get the latest update on medical advances by speakers at
            the congress. Attendance, including travel and lodging is all paid for by Digestive Cancers Europe.

K. A Community of people

      25. And yes, as a regional community of people working with the same goals we can make friends and have fun.

         ... and Full Members get all of this for free since we charge no membership fees.

         ... and even better: some costs get covered!


For more information on the Principles of Membership Engagement with Digestive Cancers Europe (DiCE) click here.

If you wish to apply for Full or Associate Membership, please complete the Application Form here.

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The information contained in this website is for general health education purposes only. Its objective is to give general guidance, and should not replace or be interpreted as a consultation with a physician or a healthcare professional. For any personal questions about your health, please talk to your doctor. Even if we try to keep the information on our website up-to-date and correct, we cannot guarantee that it covers all the latest medical and scientific insights.
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