The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has asked member States to ensure that all breast cancer patients have effective access, wherever their place of residence, to quality-assured diagnosis and treatment.
PACE unanimously adopted a resolution on Friday, on the basis of the report by Cypriot MP Stella Kyriakides (Cyprus, EPP/CD), which underlines that women should have access to national mammography screening programmes, as well as to accurate information on the potential benefits and risks of these programmes.
The parliamentarians stressed that the efforts must not be confined to screening and treatment. It is also necessary to outlaw any discrimination against breast cancer patients, in particular in the employment and insurance spheres.
According to the text adopted, breast cancer is still the most common cancer in European women and has the highest mortality of any cancer in women. The resolution points out that providing breast cancer services and care of guaranteed quality leads in the medium and long term to improved survival rates, to savings for the health-care system and to a better quality of life for patients.
Kyriakides said in her intervention that the Council of Europe member States should keep the fight against breast cancer at the top of their health agendas and ensure that women have effective access to European guidelines-compliant screening and treatment programmes, including accurate, evidence-based information and shared decision-making between patients and medical teams.