Every year on 15 February, the International Childhood Cancer Day is celebrated to raise awareness and provide support for children and adolescents with cancer.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), a global response is necessary in order for each child to have the best chance of surviving cancer. Cancer is not a selective disease, but one that affects more than 150,000 children each year in all regions of the world and approximately 35,000 in Europe. Concerted efforts in establishing cancer registries, the incorporation of palliative care and better access to treatment are all factors that embody the objectives of International Childhood Cancer Day.
Childhood Cancer International (CCI), the umbrella organisation regrouping all the association supporting children with cancer and their families worldwide, is launching on this occasion a global campaign, guided by the core belief that every child with cancer deserves the best possible medical and psychosocial care, regardless of country of origin, race, financial status or social class. Moreover, it seeks to build a strong support framework for survivors, in addition to family members.
In Europe, the European Society for Paediatric Oncology (SIOPE), member of the European CanCer Organisation (ECCO), has a vision of the future where all children – no matter where they live – have access to state-of-the-art treatments, where the cure-rate for all types of paediatric cancers steadily grows, and where all childhood cancer survivors can enjoy a fulfilling life without suffering from the late side effects of treatment. This is not just a vision: together with parents, patients and survivors, SIOPE defined a consensus-based Strategic Plan ‘A European Cancer Plan for Children and Adolescents’ and is working to make this vision a reality.
For all these reasons, SIOPE marks this important date by organising a yearly event at the European Parliament. The aim of the 2017 event – ‘Development of paediatric cancer medicines – Milestones and the Road Ahead Towards More Life-Saving Innovation’ – 7th March 2017, European Parliament, Brussels – is to convince European policy-makers and stakeholders to ensure the Plan’s implementation and address one of its 7 objectives, namely the development of innovative medicines to cure childhood cancers.
ECCO supports the goals of International Childhood Cancer Day and recognises the global contributions between arrays of actors.
ECCO is a not-for-profit federation comprised of 25 Member Societies cumulatively representing over 80 000 medical professionals. It is the only multidisciplinary organisation that connects and responds to all relevant oncology stakeholders throughout Europe. ECCO aims to promote and uphold the rights of all European cancer patients with regards to receiving the best treatment and care, while promoting dialogue amongst all organisations involved in cancer at a European level.
ECCO Senior Communication and Marketing Manager