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European School of Oncology Advisory report to the European Commission for the "Europe Against Cancer Programme" European Code Against Cancer.

Authors
  • Boyle, P
  • Veronesi, U
  • Tubiana, M
  • Alexander, F E
  • da Silva, F
  • Denis, L J
  • Freire, J M
  • Hakama, M
  • Hirsch, A
  • Kroes, R
Type
Published Article
Journal
European Journal of Cancer
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Jan 01, 1995
Volume
31A
Issue
9
Pages
1395–1405
Identifiers
PMID: 7577062
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

A European School of Oncology Advisory Group has reviewed the European Code Against Cancer after its initial use over a 6-year period. With minor modifications, the original ten recommendations were found to be adequate, although it was agreed that an Annex was necessary to explain the scientific evidence supporting each point, and is presented herewith. Tobacco smoking clearly remains the most important cause of cancer, and now it can be quantified better than ever before. It is also clear that it is never too late to stop smoking: stopping even in middle age, prior to the onset of serious illness has a beneficial effect on life expectancy. Alcohol drinking is an important cause of cancer, and yet modest consumption levels protect against cardiovascular disease mortality. The optimal strategy seems to be a consumption not exceeding 2-3 drinks per day, although this limit may be lower for women. Increased consumption of fruits and vegetables, reduction in consumption of fatty foods, reduction of obesity and increased physical activity can all be recommended to reduce cancer risk. Exposure to excessive sunlight remains a problem which should be limited. Control of occupational cancer is a three-way partnership: legislation identifies and limits exposure to known carcinogens, employers enact the legislation and workers should respect the measures introduced. There are a number of signs and symptoms which may lead to cancer being diagnosed earlier, and patients with these should be referred to a doctor. For women, participation in organised programmes of cervical cancer and breast cancer (after 50 years of age) should lead to a reduction in mortality from these forms of cancer. The key element is organised programmes, where quality control and quality assurance are in force. These revised recommendations are the result of an agreement following advice, review and dialogue with cancer experts throughout Europe. They were approved by the European Community Cancer Experts at their meeting in Bonn on 28-29 November 1994. Their implementation by the European population should greatly reduce cancer incidence and mortality.

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