The European Commission recommended on September 20 that the public for cancer screening in the European Union be expanded, in particular by lowering the age to 45 at which women are eligible for regulated breast cancer screening.
Stella Kyriakides, the European Commissioner for Health, said more and better testing was needed. The Cypriot commissioner, who herself is a breast cancer survivor, noted, “We are proposing to extend breast cancer screening (which concerns women aged 50 to 69 years according to current European recommendations) to women aged 45 to 74.” “In addition, we recommend magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for women with particularly dense breasts,” she added.
The committee also recommends offering an HPV (human papillomavirus infection) test to women between the ages of 30 and 65 every five years, instead of a cytological examination (“Pap test”). To screen for colorectal cancer, faecal immunohistochemical tests are recommended in people between 50 and 74 years of age to determine the need for endoscopic follow-up.
Lung, prostate and stomach cancer screenings
The committee also suggests screening for lung cancer, prostate cancer and, under certain circumstances, stomach cancer. Against lung cancer, she calls for screening of heavy smokers and former heavy smokers between the ages of 50 and 75. Against prostate cancer, she suggests offering a test (prostate-specific antigen) to men up to age 70, with an MRI as a follow-up test. Finally, it recommends screening for stomach cancer in countries or regions where the incidence and mortality of this cancer is high.
Stella Kyriakidis said she hoped these recommendations would be approved by the Council – an institution representing member states – by December.