Policy News from our Member Societies and Patient Advocacy Groups - May 2022

07 June 2022

In May's edition of our montly update, we highlighted the following current policy initiatives of our Member Societies and Patient Advisory Committee:

  • SIP: The Societal Impact of Pain hosted a workshop on cancer-related pain at #EFIC2022

On 27 April, the Societal Impact of Pain (SIP) hosted a workshop related to its policy recommendations for cancer-related pain at the 2022 European Pain Federation Congress in Dublin, Ireland.Attendees heard from Uri Hochberg on the EFIC Standards for Cancer-related Pain in Europe, from Jamie Wilkinson who presented SIP’s cancer-related pain policy recommendations and advocacy work, and Deidre Ryan (president of Pain Alliance Europe) who spoke about bridging the gap from patient experience to advocacy for national implementation of cancer pain policies.Following the workshop, a call to action was made ensure the implementation of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan reflects the EFIC Standards, SIP’s Recommendations, and patient perspectives when being implemented across European Member States.Patrice Forget, SIP Chair, EFIC, said:

"Pain is one of the most common symptoms when diagnosed with cancer, and its prevalence only increases thereafter. Multidimensional pain assessment (and management) is essential in any treatment, education and research programme."

To learn more, please see SIP's cancer pain policy webpage.

  • ECL: European Week Against Cancer (EWAC) 

A key international awareness week on the health calendar, the European Week Against Cancer (EWAC) takes place every year in the last week of May to unite Europe in the fight against cancer, under one banner. #EWAC22 takes place between Wednesday 25 May and Tuesday 31 May 2022. Each day will focus on a different aspect of the cancer control continuum. This year, the EWAC campaign will also reflect on 'progress' and the role that each one of us has in accelerating the implementation of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan (#EUCancerPlan).

Wendy Yared, ECL Director, said:

"No matter who we are, where we are, and what we do, we all have a role to play to accelerate the implementation of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan! During EWAC, we encourage all non-profit, public, private organisations in the cancer community to organise virtual events, promote their publications and projects, as well as make use of our communication materials. Join us!"

Read more about #EWAC2022 here.

  • ERS: Proposal Submitted - Health Impact Assessment of the Air Quality Directive

The International Agency for Research in Cancer (IARC) has found in several reports that air pollution (diesel exhaust, particulate matter, etc.) is a carcinogenic to humans (Group 1). In fact, air pollution has been linked to lung cancer, with a finding that 19% of lung cancer deaths are caused by air pollution. Evidence is emerging that air pollution is likely linked to other types of cancer, including leukemia, breast cancer, liver cancer, kidney cancer, stomach cancer and colorectal cancer. This implies that reduction in air pollution levels could lead to prevention of new cancer cases in Europe. In this context in May 2022, the European Respiratory Society (ERS) submitted a proposal to the European Commission where we argue that the health impact assessment of the Air quality directive must include the most recent scientific evidence available. Currently, the assessment takes into account evidence from the WHO reviews but not that gathered in major studies conducted after WHO air quality guidelines process, including two large new multi-center European studies confirming association of air pollution with lung and liver cancers. Zorana J. Andersen, Chair, ERS Environment and Health Committee, said:

"As the European Respiratory Society, we continue working to ensure a reduction of cancer and other illnesses related to air pollution. Cleaner air policies and cleaner air in the long run are fundamental to achieve a healthier future for everyone."

If you would like to know more, please click here.

  • ESSO: Infographic - Spreading the Importance of Surgical Oncology in Improving Cancer Treatment

80% of cancer patients will require surgical intervention during the course of their disease. By 2030, 45 million surgical procedures are estimated to be needed worldwide. Despite the significant benefit brought by surgical oncology, it is striking to notice that less than 25% of cancer patients actually receive safe, affordable or timely surgery across the globe.ESSO infographic highlights the pivotal value of surgical oncology as part of cancer care and summarises ESSO's key recommendations to unlock its full potential in Europe. It is now available in 7 major European languages: English, Italian, Spanish, German, Dutch, Portuguese, and French.The value of surgical oncology should not be overlooked for the sake of the successful implementation of Europe’s Beating Cancel Plan.  It is in our urgent need that the critical role surgical oncology plays in cancer treatment be recognized and well communicated both at the EU and member states levels.Carine Lecoq, ESSO Chief Operating Officer, said:

"ESSO developed this infographic to spread the importance of surgical oncology in improving cancer treatment, which is not only an EU political subject, but a common challenge faced by every member-state, most importantly: the desire of each cancer patient in Europe. The infographic has now been translated into several languages so that ESSO’s national societies and partners could access the same information and cancer patients in different European countries be informed about the necessity and benefits of high-quality cancer surgery."

Check out the infographic in multi-languages here.

  • WBCPC: Bladder Cancer Awareness Month in May

The World Bladder Cancer Patient Coalition (WBCPC) invites patient advocates, healthcare professionals and policy-makers to join in the new campaign and help bring much-needed attention to bladder cancer during Bladder Cancer Awareness Month.During bladder cancer month, they spark conversations that drive awareness around the disease by honing in on these symptoms and the problem they bring. The vast majority of things we’re embarrassed about are harmless, however, bladder cancer symptoms might not be.Alex Filicevas, Executive Director of WBCPC, said:

"The discovery of blood in their urine and the fact that any medical consultation requires them to talk about, and refer to, intimate parts of their body can, for some, induce anxious, worried and embarrassed feelings. People should feel confident to come forward and get the help and advice they need."

This year, they are inviting everyone to overcome the feeling of embarrassment in our lives through affirmations whilst helping raise awareness about bladder cancer symptoms. The Embarrassing Affirmations are fun, relatable statements that provoke an embarrassing reaction when said aloud.They could be anything from scenarios brought about because of the ‘new normal’, owning up to guilty pleasures or vain admissions, and even the bizarre. Say it. Own it. Overcome it.WBCPC will give out several prizes to randomly selected winners who have shared their embarrassing affirmations. Each winner will receive a "Don't Go Red" campaign t-shirt and a portable battery charger (Powerbank). How to participate? It is simple - just share an embarrassing affirmation of yours in the link below or directly on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin) and tag them and use the hashtag “#DontGoRed” You can share your embarrassing affirmation here.