Further encourage the development in the field of cancer screening programs in the European Union. This is the main message of the report just published "Cancer Screening in the European Union (2017): Report on the Implementation of the Council Recommendation on Cancer Screening" by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in collaboration with the CPO Piemonte , the Cancer Society of Finland (CSF) and the Finnish Mass Screening Registry.

The report, now at the second edition, reveals a marked increase in national screening programs for breast, cervical and colorectal cancer. To date 33 million of the European Union citizens have access to an organized screening program.

"A great additional value of the current report compared to the earlier one is that performance indicators could be estimated based on the data collected and compiled from most of the population –based programmes" said Christopher Wild, Director of IARC, in the preface to the document.

At this very crucial point the contribution of CPO Piemonte has proved particularly valuable: the experts screening of Turin, in fact, have developed tools for online data collection through the website of the CPO, based on questionnaires and on standardized Excel tables.

At the heart of the work is in-depth analysis of the procedures that govern the three screening and their international variability. This analysis has led to the creation of tables whose numbers, once inserted, at the same time allow the comparison of the performance of different countries and capture and describe the specific characteristics of each country.

"To achieve this we have targeted to a data structure able to standardize as much as possible the calculation of the main indicators of quality, but it was at the same time flexible enough to describe specific variants in order to explain them an approach that may be called glocal, a meeting point of both global and local approaches, "said Mariano Tomatis responsible of  the data management system.

According to Antonio Ponti, the principal investigator of the report, "population-based screening programs are present in 25 of the member countries for breast cancer, in 22 for cervical cancer and in 20 for colorectal cancer. The gradual and constant diffusion in Europe of effective evidence-based programs helps to decrease cancer mortality and, as regards the uterine cervix and colon-rectum, also its frequency.

"The publication of this important report demonstrates once more the international outstanding role of Piedmont in the screening field. This importance is reflected not only in prestige, but also in the concrete opportunity for citizens of our region to access a high quality and innovative service, without distinction dependent on the socio-economic status. This is also enabled by the ability to carry out high-level scientific research, which we hope will be maintained in the future ", says Nereo Segnan, director of the Epidemiology Screening and Cancer Registry Unit - CPO Piemonte of the University Hospital “Città della Salute e della Scienza di Torino”.

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