The European Respiratory Society (ERS) welcomes a comprehensive evidence review published today by Science Advice for Policy by European Academies (SAPEA) – part of the Commission’s Scientific Advice Mechanism – which states that there is a strong scientific basis for introducing life-saving screening programmes in EU Member States for lung cancer. This comes ahead of an expected update to the Council’s cancer screening guidelines.
The review highlights that there is evidence from at least two large-scale randomised controlled trials that LDCT lung cancer screening is highly effective in reducing the burden of lung cancer mortality when offered to smokers or ex-smokers of both sexes in the age range 50–80. It also stresses that the amount of overdiagnosis, overtreatment and other harms are limited and, depending on selection criteria used, cost-effective screening scenarios can be designed.
In light of this review, we urge Member States and the European Commission to move swiftly to include lung cancer screening in this year’s proposed update of the EU Council recommendations on screening.
Read the SAPEA evidence review in full https://sapea.info/topic/cancer-screening/
Other statements welcomed by the ERS include supporting the goal of a ‘tobacco free generation’ that aims for less than five percent of the population using tobacco by 2040, an increase in minimum excise duties and requirement for standardised plain packaging and health warnings for all tobacco products, an update to the Council recommendation on smoke-free environments to account for emerging tobacco products, and a call to implement rules of conduct for officials when interacting with the tobacco industry, in order to protect public health policies from the vested interests of the industry.
BECA was created in June 2020 and gathered views and recommendations through public hearings and consultation with national parliaments and international organisations and experts. The plan presents the first updated strategy to beat cancer in twelve years. Read more about BECA, including the full report, on the European Parliament website.