Cancer Care and Nutrition: ECPC Sheds Light on a Neglected Issue

This blog post was written by Athanasia Kanli, Associate Director, Government Affairs Europe, and Sara Amori, Communications, CSR & Advocacy Senior Manager, Corporate Affairs Italy

In last week’s European Cancer Patient Coalition’s (ECPC) Annual General Meeting an entire panel session was devoted to nutrition. And indeed it was needed. When fighting with cancer, patients and physicians alike often neglect a fundamental aspect of cancer treatment: nutrition.

The “Survey on Nutrition in the Oncology Patient” presented at the ECPC Annual General Meeting revealed that, while the evidence regarding the benefits of improved diets is clear, physicians lack an appropriate level of information to adequately advise patients on the role of nutrition during cancer management. These are the preliminary results of a survey conducted by ECPC among 650 patients from over 30 EU countries. Lilly was one of the sponsors of the effort, which underscored the great unmet need for accurate information on diet and nutrition among cancer patients and highlighted the importance of dropping the narrow perception of cancer care in favor of a comprehensive approach.

Calls for such a comprehensive approach came up again and again during this year’s Annual General Meeting. Be it with regard to building national cancer plans, organising care systems or addressing inequalities in access to cancer care, a point that was often repeated was the need to break down silos and work together to make this holistic approach a reality. In our ongoing efforts to improve the lives of the millions of people affected by cancer every year, Lilly will continue working with ECPC and other stakeholders to advocate for holistic policies and solutions which put the patient and his or her needs first.