Health Promotion and Prevention PDF Print E-mail
This Work Package has the overall aim of raising awareness about cancer promotion and prevention, especially among target groups in Europe, by disseminating the European Code Against Cancer using proven communication strategies and messages, and by engaging policy-makers at the European, national, and subnational levels. Actions will engage ECL cancer leagues and other dedicated partners in the joint effort to raise cancer prevention awareness and to reduce exposure to cancer risk factors, recognizing that “prevention offers the most cost-effective long-term strategy for the control of cancer”, and that at least 33% and as much as 40% of all cancers are preventable.
This work package on Prevention aims at effectively communicating the European Code Against Cancer (ECAC) messages, and to re-launch the successful European Week Against Cancer (EWAC) which took place across Europe between 1989 and 2005, which was a health promotion campaign originally organised as part of the European Commission’s Europe Against Cancer Programme. ECL had coordinated the EWAC from 1999, and many ECL member leagues had been involved in the planning and implementation of the campaign from the start. The previous edition of European Week Against Cancer had assigned each year to a specific theme, and the programme itself has undergone some evaluations. This new edition will use the still-recognized Week with actions planned around promotion and prevention messages of the European Code Against Cancer, which has been underutlised and undercommunicated.   Promotion will be focused on communicating the European Code Against Cancer (ECAC) messages. While much expertise and research went into the development of the Code, it has now been lost and forgotten. No recent literature is available on the Code. We will not duplicate or reinvent but gather how Member States are communicating promotion messages in an effective manner and use proven methods and strategies to communicate promotion and prevention messages related to ECAC.
EWAC will be a vehicle for health promotion and prevention messages to be disseminated in Europe. EWAC will take place once a year, during the last week of May to also include 31 May designated as World No Tobacco Day. Each EWAC will be devoted to a theme, or set of themes, related to cancer prevention in Europe and linked to the Code Against Cancer, and alongside each EWAC conference, a timely theme on tobacco control will be organised (e.g., pictorial warnings on cigarette packs, taxation, etc.) to coincide with World No Tobacco Day and to emphasise the importance of tobacco control in cancer prevention. ECL will work with other pan-European and global partners, to maximize resources and to reach out to as many European countries, regions, and cities as possible. Politically, it is aimed to engage the MAC II (MEPs Against Cancer II) group to support the efforts, with its new direction focusing on prevention and connecting the European, national, and subnational levels and with ECL providing the Secretariat for MAC II. It is expected that by providing a three-year kick-start of the European Week Against Cancer with an emphasis on promotion and prevention, actions will continue to take place as the EWAC would be well-recognized and noted each year with the help of ECL and other cancer leagues who would be encouraged to keep the EWAC alive, with ECL making this as a permanent part of its Strategy Plan. Annual conferences during the EWAC will showcase and share best practices and tools for raising cancer prevention awareness for European populations.

European Code Against Cancer 

The "11 Commandments" for cancer prevention:

1. Do not smoke; if you smoke, stop doing so. If you fail to stop, do not smoke in the presence of non-smokers.

2. Avoid Obesity.

3. Undertake some brisk, physical activity every day.

4. Increase your daily intake and variety of vegetables and fruits: eat at least five servings daily. Limit your intake of foods containing fats from animal sources.

5. If you drink alcohol, whether beer, wine or spirits, moderate your consumption to two drinks per day if you are a man or one drink per day if you are a woman.

6. Care must be taken to avoid excessive sun exposure. It is specifically important to protect children and adolescents. For individuals who have a tendency to burn in the sun, active protective measures must be taken throughout life.

7. Apply strictly regulations aimed at preventing any exposure to known cancer-causing substances. Follow all health and safety instructions on substances which may cause cancer. Follow advice of national radiation protection offices.

8. Women from 25 years of age should participate in cervical screening. This should be within programmes with quality control procedures in compliance with "European Guidelines for Quality Assurance in Cervical Screening".

9. Women from 50 years of age should participate in breast screening. This should be within programmes with quality control procedures in compliance with "European Guidelines for Quality Assurance in Mammography Screening".

10. Men and women from 50 years of age should participate in colorectal screening. This should be within programmes with built-in quality assurance procedures.

11. Participate in vaccination programmes against hepatitis B virus infection.

Work Package Leader on Health Promotion and Prevention:

Dr. Wendy Yared

Association of European Cancer Leagues (ECL)

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To see all activities and outcomes of EWAC 2012 please click here

Report, press release and presentations from first European Week Against Cancer (EWAC) 25 May 2011, Brussels can be found here

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