MEP says EU citizens deserve affordable access to cancer treatment

‘Give citizens affordable access to treatment and care against cancer as well as supportive care’ - Therese Comodini Cachia

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Matthew Vella
29 September 2016, 12:00pm
Therese Comodini Cachia
Therese Comodini Cachia
Nationalist MEP Therese Comodini Cachia has falled for further efforts to raise awareness on the causes of lung cancer, noting the increasing number of female and young smokers.

At a roundtable event on lung cancer in Europe organised by the International Centre for Parliamentary Studies (ICPS) in Brussels, the MEP questioned the effectiveness of the current measures being taken such as that of compulsory labelled warnings on tobacco products.

Comodini Cachia, a member of MEPs Against Cancer – a cross-party Parliamentary Interest Group on cancer – said over 272 cancer research projects have been funded under Horizon 2020 with an investment of €415 million including a number of projects targeting lung cancer.

“However, it is not just up to the EU to invest in research. Member States should start setting investment in research as a priority too,” she said.

“EU citizens deserve equitable and affordable access to high quality treatment and care against cancer. They and their family also need supportive care from the moment of diagnosis.”

Referring to the ever-growing traffic congestion in Malta and other cities across Europe, Comodini Cachia asked how much member states were taking the issue seriously considering that emissions are considered as a major contributor of lung cancer.

In 2012 more than a quarter of a million (268,000) people died from lung cancer in the EU-28, just over one fifth (20.7) of all deaths from cancer. Statistics published by the World Health Organisation (WHO) show that lung cancer featured among the top 3 causes of death in Malta and this was on the rise.

Earlier this month PN leader Simon Busuttil pledged that a PN government would provide equitable cure for cancer to all those in need, provide medicine for free to the elderly, invest heavily in sports facilities and programmes to prevent health problems and promote a healthy lifestyle and invest in an alternative public transport system to reduce traffic congestions.

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Matthew Vella is executive editor at MaltaToday.