The 30th anniversary of the first edition of the European Code Against Cancer (ECAC) is celebrated today with encouraging news that awareness of cancer prevention is on the rise. According to a recent online survey by the Association of the European Cancer Leagues (ECL), 82% of people understand that they can reduce their risk of getting cancer in the future by making changes to their lifestyle. This an increase on the result of the previous survey (performed in 2015*) when 78% of people believed cancer could be prevented through making lifestyle changes.
The survey, based on a total sample of 8,171 people (aged 18+) in Finland, France, Hungary, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Spain, and the United Kingdom, reported that 13% of people had previously heard of ECAC. The response to the same question 2015 had been 10%, demonstrating that progress is being made in promoting ECAC.
Examining the picture at the national level reveals a mixed picture: 21% of people in Hungary and Poland are aware of the European Code against Cancer, whilst just 2% of people in the UK stated that they had heard of ECAC prior to the survey. Awareness of ECAC also varies according to age with 17% of 18-34 year olds reporting that they are aware of ECAC. Almost one in three 18-24 year olds in Spain (30%), and near to one in three 25-34 year olds in Poland (30%), responded that they had heard of the European Code against Cancer.
Almost two-thirds of people (64%) think that they are likely to make changes to their lifestyle after reading ECAC, which is an increase on the 2015 survey (52%). Amongst people who had previously heard of the European Code against Cancer, four in five (79%) are likely to make changes to their lifestyle to reduce their risk of cancer.
To celebrate the 30th anniversary, ECL’s Youth Ambassador group have posted a video with 12 messages of the ECAC recited in the 12 different languages of the ambassadors involved. The video is freely available to share on social media, so please share and support the promotion of the European Code against Cancer!
The first issue of 2018, with contributions from Alcohol Focus Scotland, SCPHRP, Nourish Scotland, Obesity Action Scotland and Exercise Works in practice and policy, as well as the latest updates on research in prevention and screening.