Treating patients is often not an easy task. But clinical guidelines exist to help, including recommendations aimed at optimising patient care on the ground at regional and local level. They are based on existing evidence, systematically reviewed, but because there are so many, it can even then often be difficult to assess which are the best.
Clinical guidelines play a crucial part in making sure that the right patient receives the right treatment at the right time and, where the EU doesn’t have tried-and-tested guidelines, on a pan-European scale, such as in lung cancer, it’s about time that it did.
Improvements and the introduction of comprehensive lung-cancer screening programmes, for example, will also require greater collaboration between Member States and across the healthcare sector, given that cancer is a significant (and growing) European healthcare problem.
There also needs to be an agreed approach to tackling it through NCPs. And all collaborations should include patients, caregivers and patient orginisations, who have an indispensable contribution to make.