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On September 24th the European Head and Neck Society (EHNS) and the European Cancer Patient Coalition (ECPC) will join forces with the European Parliament to highlight the challenges in treating head and neck cancer. Member of European Parliament (MEP) Daciana Sarbu will be hosting a parliamentary meeting for political and patient advocacy representatives to launch a head and neck cancer white paper and call-to-action - both demonstrating a commitment to improving standards of care and delivering best outcomes for patients with head and neck cancer across Europe.
"Head and neck cancer poses a significant health risk and yet remains relatively unknown and under-diagnosed," said host MEP Daciana Sarbu. "There is a huge job to do in raising awareness of this devastating disease. With this white paper and call-to-action we hope to elevate understanding, and deliver tangible proposals to improve disease outcomes in the future. Cancer prevention in general must become a major priority for the EU institutions, especially since reducing the risk factors can be done through a healthier lifestyle."
The EHNS/ECPC white paper and call-to-action outlines proposals on how members of European Parliament can take action to support the management of head and neck cancer. Key action areas include:
"If caught early enough, many head and neck cancers are remarkably receptive to treatment," said Francesco De Lorenzo, President of ECPC. He continued, "With the support of governments to reinforce a multidisciplinary best-practice approach to treatment we can improve patient outcomes and quality of life. European best-practice guidelines on disease management across the EU member states must also be rigorously implemented to ensure all patients get access to the best available treatment and emotive support."
Despite major advances in the treatment of head and neck cancer over the past three decades, over half of patients still die from the disease. These deaths can be attributed in part to a lack of awareness of the disease among both the general public and the healthcare community across Europe, which results in the majority of cases being identified in late stages and reduces the patient's chance of survival.
"By launching this white paper and call-to-action as part of the ongoing Make Sense Campaign, we hope to drive a greater understanding and awareness of the disease, so that we encourage earlier presentation, diagnosis and referral, and ultimately save lives across Europe," said Professor Jean Louis Lefebvre, President of the EHNS and Professor of ENT and Head and Neck Surgery, Centre Oscar Lambert, Lille, France. "The endorsement and support of European Parliament in our endeavour to reach the stakeholders who can make an impact on this devastating disease is a great step towards achieving our goals in head and neck cancer management."
Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release. Click 'references' tab above for source.
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EHNS. "EU Parliament unites with patient and professional organisations to fight head and neck cancer: Action urgently needed to improve patient outcomes." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 24 Sep. 2013. Web.
7 Dec. 2013. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/266468>
EHNS. (2013, September 24). "EU Parliament unites with patient and professional organisations to fight head and neck cancer: Action urgently needed to improve patient outcomes." Medical News Today. Retrieved from
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