Beating Cancer Plan: BSNA calls for nutritional care to be an integral part of cancer care

BSNA joins call for nutritional care to be at the heart of European cancer plan

On World Cancer Day, BSNA has joined the call for the new European Commission cancer plan to recognise the importance of nutritional interventions as an integral part of cancer care.

Alongside Medical Nutrition International Industry (MNI) and Specialised Nutrition Europe (SNE), BSNA welcomes the Commission's initiative, 'Europe's Beating Cancer Plan', which aims to tackle the second leading cause of mortality in the European Union.

As the plan is developed, BSNA will work with MNI and SNE to ensure the plan makes nutritional interventions an integral part of cancer care.

1 in 3 cancer patients are malnourished.[1] Malnutrition in cancer patients results in poorer health outcomes, such as reduced tolerance to anticancer therapy, higher risk of complications and infections, as well as increased mortality.

Furthermore, malnutrition leads to an increased burden on healthcare resources, including longer hospital stays [2] and additional costs, estimated to be €17 billion per year in the European Union.[3] Nutritional care should be considered as an integral part of disease management in order to reduce healthcare expenditure.

Better nutritional status in cancer patients contributes to improved tolerance to chemotherapy, faster recovery and higher survival rate. BSNA calls on the European Commission to take a holistic and multi-disciplinary approach to cancer treatment.

MNI, SNE and BSNA therefore call on the European Commission to take a holistic and multi-disciplinary approach to cancer treatment.

MNI* infographic on cancer outlines why nutritional care is important for cancer patients and provides five recommendations to advance cancer care:

  • Screen all cancer patients for malnutrition to provide nutritional care in a timely manner
  • Implement existing clinical guidelines on nutritional care for cancer patients
  • Provide equal access to and reimbursement of medical nutrition to cancer patients
  • Establish multidisciplinary teams in oncology, including a dietitian or registered nutritionist
  • Educate healthcare professionals and patient advocates, and inform cancer patients on the importance of a good nutrition status in cancer care


*MNI - The Medical Nutrition International Industry (MNI) is the voice of the medical nutrition industry at international level. MNI gathers companies that offer specialised nutritional solutions and services designed to meet the diverse nutritional needs of patients. We strive to put nutrition at the heart of patient care and we aim at an environment that provides fair access to nutritional care throughout the world. MNI is dedicated to advancing better care through better nutrition, across all ages and healthcare settings.

More information at: www.medicalnutritionindustry.c... E-mail:

[1] Better care through better nutrition: value and effects of medical nutrition - A summary of the evidence base (2018)

[2] The economic cost of hospital malnutrition in Europe; a narrative review - Khalatbari-Soltani, Saman et al. (Clinical Nutrition ESPEN, June 2015, Volume 10, Issue 3, e89 - e94)

[3] The economic costs of disease related malnutrition - Freijer, Karen et al. (Clinical Nutrition, February 2013, Volume 32, Issue 1, 136 – 141)