Healthcare experts call to improve the nutritional care of cancer patients
On 21 September, during the ESPEN virtual Congress, cancer patients’ representatives, dietitians, cancer care givers and industry emphasised the importance of nutritional care during cancer treatment and called on the European Commission and EU Member States to make optimal nutritional care a pillar of the forthcoming European strategy to defeat cancer, as recommended by the Joint Statement ‘Making cancer-related complications and comorbidities an EU health priority.
The European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (ESPEN), the European Nutrition for Health Alliance (ENHA), the European Federation of Associations of Dietitians (EFAD), the European Cancer Patient Coalition (ECPC) and the Medical Nutrition International Industry (MNI) gathered at the ESPEN (virtual) 2020 Congress to discuss the importance of nutritional care in cancer treatment.
All emphasised four critical steps to improve nutritional care of cancer patients:
- the need to adopt a patient centred approach, based on their needs
- the need to screen, diagnose and treat malnutrition
- the crucial role of dietitians to deliver tailored therapies to help malnourished patients meet their nutritional needs
- and the urgency to apply existing guidelines, such as ESPEN guideline on nutrition in cancer patients
The session closed with a call to action addressed to the European Commission and EU Member States to make optimal nutritional care a pillar of the forthcoming European strategy to defeat cancer (the so-called Europe Beating Cancer Plan), as recommended by the Joint Statement ‘Making cancer-related complications and morbidities an EU Health priority’.