Cyprus pioneers ‘right to be forgotten’ for cancer survivors

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Cyprus is among the leading countries to adopt the ‘right to be forgotten’ for cancer survivors, according to Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantela.

He spoke at the ‘Race for the Cure’ event in Nicosia, organised by Europa Donna, aiming to raise awareness for breast cancer.

“We reached an agreement on the right to be forgotten for people with cancer experience.

“Our country is among the first countries to adopt this inalienable right”, said Hadjipantela.

“The right to be forgotten is the right of every person with a cancer experience to move on with their lives without discrimination, having access to insurance coverage and financial facilities.”

He said more details on the agreement would be announced within the next few days.

“Breast cancer, as the most common cancer in women, and a priority for the Ministry of Health

“The Ministry of Health promotes the continuous development and upgrading of the Population Program for Early Detection of Breast Cancer, taking the recommendations of the European guidelines and the European Strategic Action Plan on Cancer seriously.”

He said the program was extended up to the age of 74, following a Cabinet decision, on September 30th.

Mammography Centers for all five districts were replaced with modern high-tech digital mammograms, which will continue to be subject to quality checks at regular intervals, said the minister.

“Through the program’s implementation, many cases of early-stage cancer have been completely cured. And this has a benefit for the individual, the family and society”.

The number of cancer survivors increases by 3% every year.

In recent years, European cancer survivorship statistics have improved significantly.

Overall, 20 million people are living after a cancer diagnosis (4.2% of the total resident population, 35% of which is made of long-term survivors – having been diagnosed for 10 years or longer).

“Once the cancer cure is declared, patients should return to their lives, like other people of similar age and socio-demographic characteristics with no cancer diagnosis,” says the European Cancer Patient Coalition.

“However, several reasons render the return to an ordinary life challenging.

“Across Europe, having a history of cancer can be a major hurdle for access to financial credit services, particularly payment insurance products.”