This scientific opinion by the Group of Chief Scientific Advisors examines how the European Commission can contribute to improving cancer screening across the EU and informs the 2022 Commission’s proposal to update the 2003 Council Recommendation on cancer screening.
Cancer is a leading cause of death in Europe, and its prevalence is set to increase with an ageing population. Reducing cancer and its consequences is a major priority for European Commission. This scientific opinion focuses on improving the participation in existing screening programmes for cervical, colorectal and breast cancers and examines the extension of screening programmes to other cancers. The GCSA recommends, among others, extending breast cancer screening to women below 50 as well as extending the screening programmes to lung and prostate cancer. For these and other cancers, the GCSA advises „living-guidelines” allowing rapid improvements of screening programs.
Scientific developments should be continuously reviewed, and guidelines updated regularly, to adapt novel cancer screening technologies.