Battle against cancer

Every year 3.2 million Europeans are diagnosed with cancer, the most common cause of death after heart disease.

The EU plans to cut cancer rates by 15 per cent by 2020 and is attacking cancer on two fronts – by encouraging a healthy lifestyle and funding research into cancer treatments.

The European code against cancer has 11 practical, science-based tips to help people stay healthy and reduce their risk of developing any form of cancer.

Ideas include brisk, physical exercise every day and drinking no more than one (women) or two (men) alcoholic drinks per day.

Scientists, doctors and patients’ groups are working together within the European partnership against cancer.

Funding from the EU helps them share information, equipment and expertise.

One EU-funded team has developed a biosensor able to identify cells that can actively suppress tumour growth. It could help cancer sufferers fight the disease using their own immune system.

Other research projects are looking into the causes of cancer. One is investigating how exposure to air pollution affects long-term health.