Ireland South MEP Deirdre Clune.

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Better care for childhood cancer is needed across the EU.

That was the call from Ireland South MEP Deirdre Clune as she gave her support to Gold September.

The campaign was started by parents, patients and survivors of childhood cancer in Europe with the purpose of raising and recognising issues related to paediatric cancer.

This year's campaign will focus on maximising the impact of childhood cancer actions as outlined in Europe's Beating Cancer Plan.

The Helping Children with Cancer Initiative is the Beating Cancer Plan's main proposal on paediatric cancer. This initiative aims to ensure that children have access to rapid and optimal detection, diagnosis, treatment and cancer care. This initiative will be funded under the future EU4Health programme to facilitate access to early diagnosis and quality treatment.

In addition, the Beating Cancer Plan also proposes the establishment of a new EU Network of Youth Cancer Survivors to complement the actions under the Helping Children with Cancer Initiative, which will connect young cancer survivors and their families as well as informal and formal carers. The network will help strengthen long term follow up in cancer plans at national and regional level.

Ireland South MEP Deirdre Clune said: “September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and it is a time to focus on what we can do to help children and teenagers affected by cancer. It is vital we strengthen the right to cross-border care for children, adolescents and young adult cancer patients when the best treatment is not available in their country of residence.

“It is imperative that children and young people benefit from faster and more efficient development of affordable innovative cancer care medicines.”

She added: “There is still a lot of work to be done in this area and unfortunately serious inequalities in access to the best available care and expertise exist across Europe for children suffering with cancer. We will be wearing the gold ribbon this month to help raise awareness.”

Every year in September, the community of childhood cancer champions, advocates and supporters encourage iconic buildings, historic landmarks, monuments, bridges to light up in gold.

Cities and towns around Ireland are now being encouraged to get involved and help light up iconic landmarks and buildings in their areas, and to seek their support for this important initiative.

MEP Clune highlighted that it is necessary to have measures in place that enable equal access to cancer treatments for all.

MEP Clune is a member of the special committee on beating cancer (BECA) and said she is committed to working to help reduce inequalities in cancer care.