The role of CAM and Integrative Oncology in the context of cancer March 2022

The publishing of EUROCAM's Position paper on 'The role of Complementary Medicine (CAM) and Integrative Oncology in the context of Cancer' comes as the European Parliament adopts its report, highlighting the need for evidence-based Integrative Medicine to be included in the implementation of Europe's Beating Cancer Plan.

EUROCAM welcomes the recent adoption by the European Parliament of its report 'Strengthening Europe in the fight against cancer - towards a comprehensive and coordinated strategy'. The 2020/2267(INI) report by Rapporteur Véronique Trillet-Lenoir (Renew Europe, France) calls on the European Commission to set some key priorities in implementing its Europe's Beating Cancer Plan, with strong actions on cancer prevention strategies and equal access to the highest quality cancer care.

"The adoption of the report emphasises the real need for Integrative Medicine to be included in the implementation of Europe's Beating Cancer Plan", highlights Dr Ton Nicolai, Secretary-General of EUROCAM. He adds, 'It is very encouraging to see that The European Parliament has taken up integrative Medicine. We hope that this message from the Parliament will turn into strong actions that support high-quality research and good regulation aiming at the effective integration of complementary therapies in cancer care to become more widely available for cancer patients in all European countries. Our position paper outlines suggestions to the implementation.'

In its position paper on 'The role of complementary medicine (CAM) and integrative oncology in the context of cancer', EUROCAM concludes how the incorporation of evidence-based practices into mainstream care provides a coherent treatment approach and an ethical response to frequent requests and unmet needs from patients.

In Europe, about 40% of cancer patients choose complementary modalities as part of their treatment. Integrative Medicine therapies help improve Quality of Life and relieve disease burden and side effects of conventional treatments. The approaches by complementary therapies help improve outcomes through lifestyle management and treatment optimisation with the involvement of multidisciplinary healthcare workers. To ensure the best outcomes and safety, educational programmes and continuous professional development should be mainstreamed.

EUROCAM, therefore, urges Integrative Oncology to be included in policies addressing any stages of cancer care, from prevention to treatment, rehabilitation, follow-up, and palliative care, with special attention to paediatric cancer.