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EuropaColon expands into Digestive Cancers Europe (DiCE)

Published on 24 September 2018  | Download | back to previous

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“Our objective is to save the lives of an additional 250,000 Europeans every year”

EuropaColon is expanding its activities to all digestive cancers: oesophageal, stomach, colon, rectum, pancreas and rare digestive cancers. The new organisation will be called Digestive Cancers Europe and will be based in Brussels.

Since its foundation in 2004 EuropaColon has gradually expanded geographically and now represents 44 patient organisations in 32 countries. It has set up alliances with existing patient organisations or set up new organisations to make sure that the voice of the patient is heard in every European country. We feel that it is the right time to also include other digestive cancer patients whose voice has not been represented so far. 

The number of patients dying from digestive cancers is excessively high. More than 800,000 people in Europe get diagnosed every year with a digestive cancer and approximately 500,000 patients die every year[1]. Colorectal cancer is highly preventable and when detected early the overall survival rates are approximately 90%. Unfortunately, only 16% of patients get diagnosed at an early stage which demonstrates the strong need of population-based screening campaigns. With the best possible screening 380,000 extra lives could be saved annually and 14 billion euro saved.

It is our objective that through a combination of improvements in the healthcare systems, we can  reduce the number of digestive cancer deaths  by 250,000 per year by 2028. Digestive Cancers Europe will advocate for the following key initiatives:

  prevention: raise awareness among citizens about the importance of lifestyle choices, self-diagnosis through symptom recognition, knowing the family history of cancers and asking to be tested

-   screening: today only 8 countries in Europe have population-based screening campaigns, despite the demonstrated massive benefits of saving lives and saving money. Some regions in Europe manage to have more than 75% of the population older than 50 years screened. In only 5 EU Member States, more than 50% of the population between 50 and 74 years old has been screened in the last three years.

-   adoption of the best healthcare systems: some countries achieve very high overall survival rates. If all countries in Europe applied the current approach of the countries with the best outcomes, more than 120,000 patients would survive every year additionally. 

-   adoption of the best medical practices: today, the overall survival rate is highest when patients are treated in the most specialised hospitals, and live in countries where new technologies find early adoption. Even in the wealthiest countries, the difference in mortality three months after surgery is 13 times higher in the best hospitals than in the less specialised hospitals. 

-   research: despite the high incidence and mortality of digestive cancers, there is a marked under-investment in basic and applied research compared to other types of cancer. 

There is absolutely no excuse not to invest in better healthcare: it saves a huge number of lives and it saves significant amounts of money in the healthcare system. Digestive Cancers Europe will engage with the political world and show them the way forward.



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Digestive Cancers Europe
Scots House
Scots Lane
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 1722 333 587

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