AP) — The European Commission has proposed a $4.8 billion plan aimed at improving the fight against cancer across the bloc as the coronavirus pandemic tends to delay diagnoses and access to treatment.
According to EU’s figures, cancer is the second leading cause of death in the 27-nation bloc, with 1.3 million deaths and 3.5 million new cases per year. An estimated 40% of EU citizens will face cancer at some point, with an annual economic impact estimated around €100 billion.
The EU’s executive arm says the pandemic has not only delayed screenings and disrupted treatments, but also affected the cancer patient’s quality of life. To avoid such events to repeat in the future, the commission proposes to increase telemedicine and remote monitoring in health care systems.