Many cancer survivors in long-term remission are faced with restricted access to financial services because of their medical history. Some EU countries have already implemented the right to be forgotten – a right for patients to not disclose their medical history. In most countries, the requirement is for the patient to be cancer-free for 10 years, France has changed this time limit to 5 years. Changes across Europe are happening very slowly. The understanding of the problem is poor and needs a lot more awareness. The incidence of cancer is increasing, however, at the same time, treatments are becoming more successful, returning long-lasting health to patients. Due to this scientific advancement, social care and policies should be changed as well.
Dr. Françoise Meunier is Member of the Belgian Royal Academy of Medicine, she was Director General of European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer for 24 years from 1991 to 2015. She is also a Scientific Member of the European Cancer Patient Coalition. She has been advocating for the right to be forgotten for almost 10 years.
This is just an excerpt of a broader episode published in autumn 2022.