We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

Liz Lynne hosts top level seminar on cancer care for older people

January 25, 2012 5:26 PM
Liz Lynne MEP is congratulated on her work on age and cancer issues since 1999 by Alojz Peterle MEP at the joint Cancer Care seminar at the European Parliament

Liz Lynne MEP is congratulated on her work on age and cancer issues since 1999 by Alojz Peterle MEP at the joint Cancer Care seminar at the Parliament in Brussels.

Lib Dem Euro MP Liz Lynne hosted a top level seminar with cancer experts on best practice in controlling the disease in older people at the European Parliament in Brussels on Tuesday (Jan 24th).

Among topics on the agenda were the latest reports on a Dutch initiative for comprehensive geriatric assessment for older people diagnosed with cancer and moves to promote healthier, active ageing.

The event was a Joint Meeting of the Parliament's Intergroup on Ageing and Intergenerational Solidarity and MEPs Against Cancer. Liz Lynne, who hosted the meeting, is Vice President of MEPs Against Cancer (MAC) and co-chair of the Age Intergroup. The West Midlands MEP is standing down from the Parliament next week.

In her closing speech looking back at her work on cancer care and age issues since 1999 Liz challenged the meeting on the key future challenges to improve cancer care in an ageing population.

Liz Lynne said:

"I welcome this important meeting. I have been working on age issues since I was first elected and co-founded MEPs Against Cancer in 2005.

"As we age, our immune system becomes less effective and cancer becomes more common. Following recent medical advances cancer is now often a chronic, long term but survivable condition in an ageing population.

"I worked hard to keep age in the Employment Directive of 2000. That links with the work I have done on countering discrimination in the workplace for those with long term illness and underlines the need for the Equal Treatment Directive so we can tackle the lack of equal access to goods and services, including health care.

"Another key priority which I hope to see rapid progress is an EU Code of Conduct on long term care, which Parliament backed in a resolution in September 2010.

"I have raised numerous Parliamentary Questions on issues of unfair discrimination and lack of equal access to health care for older people and of course this crosses over to cancer care.

"For MAC, tackling the difference in cancer survival rates in different member states has been a key campaign and we have also long pressed for more equal access to cancer screening.

"In April 2010 I was pleased that Parliament backed my written Declaration on Breast Cancer calling for the implementation of EU guidelines for screening and specialist treatment for the disease."

"Sharing best practice is vital, both in promoting healthier lifestyles such as the campaign by the EuropaDonna Breast Health Coalition and adopting the best screening techniques as outlined in the Colorectal Cancer Declaration of December 2010.

"Last September I hosted a conference on continuing cancer care in Brussels with the European Cancer Leagues. That event heard growing evidence that millions of older cancer patients face unequal access to treatment and serious discrimination in the workplace because of their condition.

"At that event I launched a declaration calling for a definition of disability as set out by the UN Convention on the rights of people with disabilities, to be implemented in all member states and applied to all existing and proposed EU anti-discrimination legislation.

"An EU-wide definition of disability that includes long term illness such as cancer would be an important step to addressing this serious discrimination affecting older people.

"For further progress tackling discrimination on all grounds, it is also essential that the Equal Treatment Directive which I have campaigned for so many years is unblocked from the Council of Ministers and put into law."

The meeting also included a special vote of thanks to Liz Lynne at her last Intergroup meeting before standing down, which was proposed by Alojz Peterle MEP.

ENDS

Caption: Liz Lynne MEP is congratulated on her work on age and cancer issues since 1999 by Alojz Peterle MEP at the joint Cancer Care seminar at the Parliament in Brussels.