SUM a major partner in Europe's largest oncology project

27 jun 2023

The Medical University of Silesia in Katowice has been nominated by the Minister of Health, Adam Niedzielski, as a Lead Partner (Competent Authority) in a joint action in the prevention of chronic diseases and oncological health determinants. It's a program called "Cancer and other NCDs prevention - action on health determinants" (Cancer and other NCDs prevention - action on health determinant ) 

The European Commission has positively approved a proposal prepared for many months by the Consortium (of which SUM is a member) for the largest public health initiative to date, which will aim to reduce the incidence, improve the detection and monitoring of chronic and oncological diseases.

- In 2020, 2.7 million people in the European Union were diagnosed with cancer and a further 1.3 million lives were lost because of it. Unless decisive action is taken, deaths from oncological diseases in the European Union will increase by more than 24% by 2035, making them the leading cause of death. In contrast, non-communicable diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes, make up the main part of the disease burden in Europe, accounting for 80% of deaths, explains Katarzyna Brukało, MD, PhD, from the Department of Public Health Policy at the Faculty of Public Health, the project coordinator on behalf of the Silesian Medical University.

Non-communicable diseases are the result of a combination of genetic, physiological, environmental and behavioural (lifestyle-related) factors. In addition to environmental issues, a number of modifiable risk factors can have a significant impact on human health and mortality; approximately 60% of deaths are attributed to modifiable risk factors such as smoking, physical inactivity, unhealthy diet or overweight and obesity. Although these deaths are largely preventable, expenditure on preventive care accounts for only about 3% of national health budgets in European Union countries.

- The aim of this Project is to support Member States in reducing the burden of chronic diseases and cancer and their associated risk factors, both at an individual and societal level, and to support Member States by taking a holistic (multidirectional and interdisciplinary) approach to the prevention of non-communicable diseases and oncology through coordinated action, adds Dr K. Brukało, MD, PhD.

The joint action will support the identification and implementation of best practices (by testing disease prevention and health promotion interventions at the population level - pilot tests), the definition of public health guidelines, the technical preparation and implementation of new policy approaches and the reduction of health inequalities.

The short-term impact will be increased public health interventions in all Member States and improved disease prevention and health promotion and management policies related to non-communicable diseases and oncology. Networking between experts will also have long-term benefits in terms of developing and improving public health policies, based on evidence and strategic approaches.

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