Dwyfor Meirionnydd MS Mabon ap Gwynfor has been appointed to a pan-European political initiative to design better policies to tackle inequalities in cancer care and treatment.

The Plaid Cymru spokesperson on health is the first Senedd Member to be appointed to the newly formed cross-party group whose aim is to address the most pressing cancer policy issues across countries in Europe, including Wales.

The cause is close to Mr ap Gwynfor’s heart and he says cancer remains the leading cause of death in Dwyfor Meirionnydd.

The National and European Parliamentarians for Cancer Action group include leading figures in health policy from across Europe, including several current and former Health Ministers.

Representing Wales, Mr ap Gwynfor joins leading parliamentarians and campaigners from countries including France, Ukraine, Spain, Italy, Scotland, England, Ireland, Portugal, Latvia, Germany, Switzerland, Finland, Poland, Croatia, and Greece.

Commenting on his appointment, Mr ap Gwynfor said: “I am honoured to have been asked to join this newly formed pan-European group, bringing together a wide range of expert knowledge in the fields of medicine, politics, and campaigning – untied by a shared goal of beating cancer.

“Cancer continues to be the biggest killer in Wales and in my constituency, cutting lives short far too often. We all know someone who has or is suffering from cancer and too many of us have lost loved ones to this cruel, disease.

“We know that when it comes to cancer, the earlier the diagnosis the better the chances of survival, so it continues to be a source of frustration here in Wales that more isn’t being done to take action to prevent cancer and catch it earlier.

“We need to see the government recognise that steps must be taken far sooner than when people are referred to hospital and actions must be taken to tackle the social cancer of chronic poverty if we are to rid society of cancer inequality.

“As a long-standing campaigner for health equality, I’m eager to learn from the experiences of other European countries on how they address cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment and how to educate people about the link between cancer and lifestyle choices.

“I believe that by sharing best practice and fostering pan-European collaboration, we can work together to both address shared challenges and learn from each other on how to drive positive change in cancer care so that better outcomes can be achieved for all cancer patients in our respective countries.”