EuroHealthNet has responded to The European Cancer Inequalities Registry Roadmap, a flagship initiative of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan. As part of this Roadmap President von der Leyen launched the European Cancer Inequalities Registry (ECIR) Data Tool in February 2022, which will be further enhanced and expanded according to the plan developed by Joint Research Centre of the European Commission.
The ECIR data tool currently integrates and presents data available from authoritative sources, such as Eurostat, the World Health Organisation, OECD health databases, the European Cancer Information System, etc. Providing sound and reliable data on cancer prevention and care to identify trends, disparities and inequalities between Member States and regions.
EuroHealthNet recommends the ECIR data tool to:
- The tool would be useful to also reflect on the impacts of the pandemic as the latest data available dates back to 2019. In order to view wider inequalities faced in (access to) cancer prevention and care.
- Inequalities are currently grouped by country. Given the varying inequalities faced within each Member State, the tool could provide additional value by adding an option to display inequalities at sub-national/local level per country, where feasible.
- In relation to the data variables: the obesity indicator could consider consumption levels of red and processed meat, plant-based diets and/or whole grains consumption; the treatment component could be completed with access to mental health support/services.
- We recommend making more links with what is being done at EU level to tackle cancer across different disciplines. For example, links to existing funding mechanisms, ensuring that the action undertaken to address cancer inequalities is strongly evidence-based (EU4Health, Horizon Europe and its EU Cancer Mission, the Resilience and Recovery Facility), present and past EU-funded projects, as well as links to networks, such as the EU Stakeholder Contact Groups, SGPP etc., and cancer focal points to contact.
- We recommend the tool highlight its links with non-health related EU tools and surveillance systems, such as, for example, the Social Scoreboard of the European Pillar of Social Rights and the monitoring of the Sustainable Development Goals Agenda implementation.
- The data tool can also expand beyond reporting inequalities – by showcasing the impact of successful interventions to reduce inequalities (For example, centralising information on evaluated good practices which promoted health equity in cancer prevention, control and care).
We stress the following areas to be data collection of importance:
- “Access to cancer prevention and care for vulnerable or marginalized groups”
- “Socio-economic inequalities in cancer survival”
- “Support schemes for cancer patients and survivors”
- “Regional differences in cancer care provision”