Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan needs a thorough prevention pillar to tackle challenges common to all non-communicable diseases (NCDs), reads a statement by 30+ health organisations.
NCDs, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, respiratory diseases and diabetes, undermine people’s health and well-being, threaten the sustainability of health systems and Europe’s economic and social prosperity. Over half a million people under the age of 65 die of NCDs in the EU each year, while up to 80% of healthcare spending goes towards treating chronic diseases.
Common causes ask for common solutions. What connects all NCDs is that they are highly preventable, exacerbated by socio-economic inequities and are driven by a number of common, modifiable risk factors – especially related to tobacco and alcohol use, unhealthy food environments, insufficient physical activity and air pollution.
The flagship Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan offers a major opportunity to firmly and strategically tackle these common risk factors and support the creation of health-enabling living environments. This will answer the aspirations of Europeans for a healthy, equitable and ecologically thriving continent for current and future generations.