Queen's in European cancer survival drive

Published Tuesday, 04 February 2014
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A world renowned cancer specialist from Queen's University, Belfast is leading the fight to beat cancer across Europe.

Queen's in European cancer survival drive
The Bill of Rights will be launched at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. (© UTV)

Professor Patrick Johnston has been at the forefront of cancer research for the last 25 years in Northern Ireland, helping cancer survival rates in the region to move from the bottom of the UK league table to near the top.

In particular, his work over the last two years, alongside some of the world's leading cancer experts and patient groups, will result in the launch of a European Cancer Patient's Bill of Rights, significantly on World Cancer Day which is Tuesday.

The Bill of Rights will be launched at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. It has the support of many MEPs and is the result of two years of work by the European Cancer Concord and is co-chaired by Professor Johnston.

It aims to address the disparities that currently exist in cancer care from one European country to the next.

  • The Bill of Rights has also been published in leading journals The Lancet Oncology and The Oncologist and contains three key principles -
  • the right of every European citizen to receive accurate information and be involved in their own care;
  • the right of every European citizen to access specialised cancer care underpinned by research and innovation;

and the right of every European citizen to cost-effective health systems that ensure optimum cancer outcomes.

Professor Johnston said: "In Northern Ireland we have seen the difference that a Comprehensive Cancer Care and Research Programme can have on patient outcomes. Previously Northern Ireland was sitting at the bottom of the UK table for cancer survival rates and thanks to pioneering work at Queen's, in association with the Health Service, we're now close to the top.

"This Bill of Rights aims to set a standard that all European countries can aspire to, ensuring that all citizens are entitled to the optimum cancer care regardless of where in Europe they live."

© UTV News
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