French president Hollande announces $2.6b anti-cancer plan

PARIS (AFP) - French President Francois Hollande on Tuesday announced a 1.5 billion euro (S$2.6 billion) anti-cancer plan aimed at reducing inequalities in treatment of the disease.

The 2014-2019 plan aims to give "the same chances to everyone everywhere in France" in preventing and fighting cancer, Mr Hollande said in a speech to medical professionals.

His announcement comes a day after the United Nations warned that new cases of cancer will rise by half by 2030, reaching 21.6 million per year compared to 14 million in 2012.

Mr Hollande said the plan would double the number of clinical trials for cancer drugs, introduce widespread screening for cervical cancer and double the number of cervical cancer vaccinations for young girls.

He said the government would also boost measures to fight tobacco use, noting that despite price increases, France's smoking rate was still at 33 per cent.

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