As a priority under von der Leyen’s Commission, Europe's Beating Cancer Plan sets out a new EU approach to cancer prevention, treatment and care, and is supported by actions spanning across a number of key policy areas.
The four key action areas can be set out as follows:
- Early detection
- Diagnosis and treatment
- Improve quality of life
With the overall economic impact of cancer on Europe approximately 100 billion annually, it will be interesting to see what progress such a plan will make on the EU health systems, its economy, and on a global scale.
For sport, the ‘Prevention’ action area is most interesting. Alongside other actions including addressing risk factors such as tobacco, harmful alcohol consumption, and environmental pollution, the Commission will focus on the ‘#HealthyLifestyle4All' campaign, promoting healthy diets and physical activity.
On #WorldCancerDay, and while a Special Committee on Beating Cancer was taking place at the European Parliament, several health organizations and European institutions underlined the efficiency of sport and physical activities as a reliable preventative measure via their social media accounts.
Investments in active mobility infrastructures and healthy canteens will be promoted by the European Commission and these efforts will be channelled through major EU initiatives linked with sport:
Of note is the particular focus paid to children, through the ‘Helping Children with Cancer Initiative’, so as to ensure their access to rapid and optimal detection, diagnosis, treatment and care.
The Special Committee on Beating Cancer which was hosted online on 4 February 2021 is available for replay.