24 September 2017

A new platform for coordinated action on nutrition and cancer

A joint statement from organisations with international commitment and responsibility in relation to cancer, nutrition, or both, addressing the lack of synergy across nutrition and cancer and inviting those interested in joining their community.

We are organisations with international commitment and responsibility in relation to cancer, nutrition, or both. Current knowledge on cancer and nutrition has benefited enormously the health of people and populations in countries at all levels of economic development. However, those working in the field of cancer are often unfamiliar with the role of nutrition in the care of cancer patients. Equally, those working in nutrition are often not involved in the prevention and management of cancer.

This lack of synergy across nutrition and cancer applies across multiple domains of research, education and practice, from both clinical and public health perspectives. Moreover, there is a need for a coordinated policy approach encompassing these areas across the cancer and nutrition communities. This is particularly important given that cancer is now the second leading cause of death globally, particularly impacting low and middle income countries, as well as a leading cause of morbidity.

Many activities could benefit from a holistic approach that includes nutrition and cancer, particularly in the fields of molecular research, clinical and population research, basic education and continued medical education. This would enable greater sharing of, and building on, best practice currently employed in countries.

We aspire to build collaborations between the responsible bodies involved in nutrition and cancer at international level, with the ambition of adding value by bringing leadership, coherence and focus to existing activities and stimulating new ones. Through this we hope to build capacity that will support practitioners in their training and practice and will promote research, leading to public policy focused on impactful interventions as well as improved care and outcomes for those affected by cancer.

Importantly, the role of poor nutrition and lack of physical activity in overweight and obesity is a cross-cutting issue for population health, and for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in particular. Clarity on the impact of these lifestyle factors on cancer will be needed for our community to work effectively with others in the field of NCDs.

Download PDF version of statement:

Statement of intent 

We – as Intergovernmental, and non-governmental organisations that carry out professional activities in cancer and nutrition – are ready to work with governments and those involved in training, practice, research and policy to support the development of structured programmes through collaborative efforts. 

To this end, we invite those with responsibilities in nutrition and in the prevention and care of cancer to express interest in joining our community, commit to sharing experience and building improved collaborations for national impact against the rising global burden of cancer worldwide.

To express interest, please contact

International Atomic Energy Agency
International Malnutrition Taskforce
International Union of Nutritional Sciences
Union for International Cancer Control
World Cancer Research Fund International

Last update

Friday 07 June 2019

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