By Ochieng' Ogodo
[NAIROBI] A new European association for lung cancer patients has been formed. Lung Cancer Europe (LuCE) was established on 27 September to bring about improvements in lung cancer outcomes for all European patients and to help improve the quality of life for the many thousands of patients and survivors living with lung cancer in Europe today.
For the first time lung cancer patients, survivors and their families will have a voice at a European level which will enable them to influence policy decisions that impact on European lung cancer outcomes. This is critically important because there are significant problems with lung cancer outcomes across Europe. Lung cancer accounts for one fifth of all cancer deaths in Europe today. It is the commonest cause of death from cancer in European men and is the third most common cause of death in women. Nearly every minute a European citizen is told that they have lung cancer and every hour 40 Europeans die of this terrible disease. Moreover, there is evidence to show worrying inequalities in lung cancer control between EU Member States with data showing that the lung cancer mortality rate in men is over three times as high in the worst performing Member State as compared with the best.
LuCE has a mission to improve lung cancer outcomes and address the unacceptable inequities in lung cancer survival across Europe. “With LuCE we want to create a European platform that gives a strong voice to lung cancer patient organisations in Europe – and we want to support the establishment of national patient groups in countries, where such groups do not yet exist. We wish to raise awareness about inequities regarding the access to lung cancer treatment and care in Europe. And we will work for improving European policies and increasing funding allocated to lung cancer research. Last but not least, we hope that the association can help to reduce the stigmatisation of lung cancer patients," Mogens Ekelund, representative of the LuCE Steering Committee explains.
LuCE is a non-profit association that has been established with support from the European Thoracic Oncology Platform and the European School of Oncology.