Improving breast cancer treatment in the EU

Did you know that more than 400,000 people are diagnosed with breast cancer in the EU every year? The disease accounts for 28% of all cancer cases among women and has the highest mortality rate of any cancer. Supporting the fight against breast cancer is a priority for the EU. EU investment enables Europe’s top experts to work on new cures and improved diagnostics techniques that improve people’s quality of life. Since 2007, the EU has contributed €536 million to breast cancer research and treatment efforts. By working together across the EU, teams can share findings, advance research, and improve diagnosis, treatment and prevention of diseases.


Joint research improving diagnostics

Bulgaria’s MaXIMA project, in partnership with universities in Belgium and Italy, is an example of how collaboration is transforming the detection and treatment of breast cancer. MaXIMA project coordinator Dr. Kristina Bliznakova and her team are developing 3D models that radically improve diagnostics for breast cancer. Her team of 24 has also established new techniques for the early detection of complex types of breast cancer. Dr. Bliznakova believes teamwork is crucial: “We collaborate with an international team of experts for our research, it’s amazing to work on a project that has the potential to save so many lives.”

Read more about MaXIMA

Collaborating to bring high-quality care to everyone

But transforming healthcare through collaboration doesn’t stop there. The European Commission Initiative on Breast Cancer (ECIBC) has developed care guidelines to improve treatment across the EU. 35 countries across Europe collaborated on the guidelines. By exchanging findings quickly, specialised multi-disciplinary Breast Units and doctors have improved patients' quality of life. The guidelines will ensure people receive the same high-quality care everywhere in Europe. Patients treated in these Breast Units have an 18% higher 5-year survival rate.

Read more about the ECIBC 

Advancing medical expertise with EU investments

The EU invests in new healthcare ideas to create an environment where projects like MaXIMA and the ECIBC can succeed. Between 2008 and 2015, the EU invested €770 million in collaborative research, diagnosis and treatment projects to find new ways to fight cancer. EU support enables individual countries to leverage the strength of experts across the EU – making Europe a leader in collaborative breast cancer initiatives.

EU-funded healthcare projects in your country

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