European Beating Cancer Plan

Posted on: February 05, 2021

Specialist nutrition industry groups jointly welcomed the publication, this week, of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan which includes measures which will contribute to improved quality of life, faster recovery and higher rate survival in cancer patients. The plan acknowledges in particular the importance of nutritional support, which is proven to help cancer patients cope better with illness and treatment.

Nutritional care should be an integral part of cancer treatment and BSNA will work with SNE and MNI, to press stakeholders to ensure this is translated in the implementation of the Action Plan.

In particular the industry groups:

  • Welcome the Cancer Plan‘s approach to build a qualified healthcare workforce. Awareness about cancer-related malnutrition is low among healthcare professionals and patients. Actions envisaged in the Plan, such as the ‘Inter-specialty cancer training programme’, should include training of healthcare professionals as well education on nutritional interventions for medical students.
  • Fully support the Cancer Plan’s emphasis on a multidisciplinary workforce and call for more dietitians/nutritionist in oncology wards. The EU Network linking recognised National Comprehensive Cancer Centres should also include nutritionists and dietitians to ensure patients’ access to nutritional care.
  • Acknowledge the Cancer Plan’s efforts to provide supportive care to cancer patients. Tackling cancer-related complications such as malnutrition is important for a truly holistic approach to cancer care. The newly formed Knowledge Centre on Cancer should ensure that best practices related to nutritional interventions are considered.

Fernando Mateus, President of MNI highlights: Cancer-related malnutrition often remains underdiagnosed and undertreated in current clinical practice. An overwhelming majority of cancer patients are not screened for nutritional status and do not receive information on nutritional interventions. We hope the Europe Beating Cancer Plan will be a turning point in the way we care for cancer-related malnutrition.’

Prof. Udo Herz, President of SNE adds: ‘1 in 3 cancer patients is malnourished: malnutrition in cancer patients leads inter alia to organ damage, immune system dysfunction and lean muscle loss. Cancer patients have a significantly increased risk of infections and complications, leading to diminished tolerability of chemotherapy, and impact on overall survival.’


Specialised Nutrition Europe (SNE) is the voice of the specialised nutrition industry across Europe. SNE members are the national associations of 19 European countries including a majority of EU states and their members are the companies producing tailor-made dietary solutions for populations with very specific nutritional needs.


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.

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