Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan Roadmap - MNI contribution
The Medical Nutrition International industry (MNI) welcomes the European Commission’s initiative ‘Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan’ aiming to tackle the second leading cause of mortality in the European Union.
Treatment targets cancerous cells and tumours, however, it should also include measures against cancer-related symptoms such as pain, fatigue and malnutrition with the aim of improving quality of life of patients and survival. 1 in 3 cancer patients are at risk of malnutrition: malnourished patients may experience inter alia organ damage, immune system dysfunction and lean muscle loss. They have a significantly increased risk of infections and complications, leading to diminished tolerability of chemotherapy, and impact on overall survival.
MNI calls for a transformation of current oncology care models as follows:
- Education on malnutrition & nutritional care in cancer treatment for healthcare professionals & cancer patients.
- Diagnostic/therapeutic approaches to be delivered by a multidisciplinary team, including a dietitian/nutritionist.
- Mandatory screening for malnutrition at diagnosis & follow-up throughout treatment to provide timely nutritional care for all cancer patients.
- Implementation of existing clinical guidelines on nutritional care for cancer patients in routine treatment protocols, including timely use of medical nutrition.
- Equal access to nutritional care for all patients; reimbursement of medical nutritional interventions by national healthcare systems.