"This year more than one million people across our Community will be told they have cancer and a further 850,000 will die from the disease. These dramatic figures will continue to increase unless effective strategies to combat cancer are put in place". With these words the Social Affairs Commissioner, Padraig Flynn, announced that the Commission had adopted a third action plan against cancer for the period 1995-1999. The plan adopted by the Commission proposes action at European Union level in areas such as health information and education; training of doctors, nurses and other health professionals; epidemiology and cancer registers; early detection and systematic screening. The new plan also provides for the first time for quality control in care, including palliative care. This proposal is the first to be brought forward under the new framework for future action in the field of public health and the Commission's approach will focus on encouraging cooperation between the Member States and lending support to their actions through the development and implementation of networks, joint actions and information exchange systems. The added-value of Community action against cancer has been amply demonstrated under the first and second action plans in areas such as preparing and disseminating the European code against cancer, progress on setting-up cancer registers and screening systems as well as improved training and professional exchange programmes. The third action plan seeks to build on past achievements as well as focusing on new areas of activity. The priority areas identified include: - Cancer registers and epidemiological studies; - Preventive actions; - Information of the public and specific groups; - Health education; - Training of health personnel; - Early detection and systematic screening; - Quality control in care, including palliative care; - Contribution to formulation and dissemination of research. The Commission recognizes the essential roles of the authorities in Member States, non-governmental organisations and health professionals in the fight against cancer and wishes to encourage effective consultation. The establishment of an Advisory Committee is provided for in order to represent their views.