In February 2021, the European Commission established Europe's Beating Cancer Plan as a political commitment to turn the tide against cancer and another stepping stone towards a stronger European Health Union and a more secure, better-prepared and more resilient EU. It outlines substantive actions to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer care and support structural improvements for a more sustainable cancer pathway.
Tackling inequalities in cancer prevention and care is identified as one of the key challenges in ‘Europe's Beating Cancer Plan’. This was strongly supported by Member States at the informal EPSCO videoconference on 16 March 2021.
The European Cancer Inequalities Registry was set up with this purpose in mind. As one of the 10 flagship initiatives of Europe's Beating Cancer Plan, it will help Member States address inequalities in cancer care by helping them to better understand their strengths and weaknesses.
This new tool aims to identify trends, disparities and inequalities between Member States and regions. Alongside regular qualitative assessments of the country-specific situation, the Registry will identify challenges and specific areas of action to guide investment and interventions at EU, national and regional level under Europe's Beating Cancer Plan.
It provides a regular reporting mechanism based on quantitative cancer indicators covering the whole cancer control continuum and complemented by analytical reports providing contextual information and qualitative assessments. The quantitative indicators are currently derived from the European Statistical System (EUROSTAT) and will draw on other national data sources and from international organisations in due course.
In addition to looking at geographical and regional differences, the European Cancer Inequalities Registry will look at inequalities due to age or sex, inequalities associated with socio-economic factors, such as educational attainment and income level, and disparities between urban and rural areas.