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May 18, 2017 - SIOG supports EONS's 1st European Cancer Nursing Day

About EONS

The European Oncology Nursing Society is a pan-European organisation dedicated to the support and development of cancer nurses. Through their individual members and national societies they engage in projects to help nurses develop their skills, network with each other and raise the profile of cancer nursing across Europe. EONS is an independent, not-for-profit, voluntary organisation registered as a charity (UK number 802484). EONS is a member of the European CanCer Organisation (ECCO), the only multidisciplinary organisation that connects and responds to all stakeholders in oncology Europe –wide. EONS 's missions is to work in partnership to develop and promote excellence in cancer nursing practice through education, research, leadership and support to cancer nurses across Europe. SIOG and EONs have a memorandum of understanding.


RECaN: Recognising the Importance of Cancer Nursing

The aim of the European Cancer Nursing Day is to celebrate cancer nursing across Europe and advocate for the recognition of the contribution of cancer nursing at a European level, as well as emphasising the importance of appropriate education and training. The ultimate aim is for the value of specialised cancer nursing to be recognised and for the benefit to patient care to be more widely understood.

Based on available literature (ESNO 2015, CANO 2016), the following definition of a specialist cancer nurse is used: "On an international level, specialist cancer nurses are expected to be educated to a degree level (or higher), have a formal training in cancer, and to care for cancer patients as a specialised population, and this across different cancer types and the entire cancer care continuum."

The growing impact of cancer places increasing pressure on the health systems across Europe and worldwide. In 2017, 3.7million people will be diagnosed with cancer in Europe* and this figure is set to rise with an ageing population. Cancer nurses have a pivotal role in all areas of cancer care, from prevention, to diagnosis, education, research, patient advocacy, survivorship and provision of end of life care. They do so against the challenges of an ageing population, an increase in patients with complex co-morbidities, new developments in treatment and care and a significant lack of resources.

Cindy Kenis, chair of the Nursing & Allied Health Interest Group of the International Society of Geriatric Oncology states: “the SIOG Nursing & Allied Health is a SIOG Interest Group that was established in 2014 by nurses and allied health professionals, members of SIOG, who are working in the field of geriatric oncology. This Group reaches out to all nurses and allied health professionals who work in all disciplines that deal with cancer in older patients. Nurses and allied health care professionals play a key role in caring for older patients with cancer both hospitalized and ambulatory patients, since the latter is of increasing importance in daily oncology practice. Globally they can develop an awareness of the special needs of older patients, gain education in the science of geriatrics, and provide age-sensitive care to optimize care of the older patient with cancer. That’s why SIOG has been pleased to support the European Oncology Nursing Society’s project Recognising European Cancer Nursing (RECaN). This project aims to consolidate evidence to clarify and effectively position the contribution of specialised cancer nursing as an essential supportive function during the cancer journey for the benefit of all patients, also older patients, as well as European health systems.

European Cancer Nursing Day

European Cancer Nursing Day is part of the Recognising European Cancer Nursing (RECaN) project led by the European Oncology Nursing Society (EONS) and supported by the European CanCer Organisation (ECCO), a Federation of 25 Professional Societies in Oncology. The project is being delivered over three years with the goal of increasing recognition of the value and contribution of oncology nursing across Europe. Their contribution takes place across a variety of roles including expert cancer nursing skills, research, education, clinical leadership, strategy and management roles, advocacy, and policy development.

Through the RECaN project, ECCO* intends to support the following characteristics of contemporary cancer nursing to be better recognised:

  • Cancer nurses are core members of the multi-disciplinary team
  • Cancer nursing should be a recognised speciality across Europe based on a mutually agreed educational curriculum
  • Education for specialist cancer nurses (across all tumour types and phases of care) should be made available
  • Enhanced free movement of cancer nurses across Europe should be promoted and facilitated to help address rising demand.

* (From ECCO position statement PDF iconeccopositionpapervalueofspecialisedcancernursing.pdf)

All EONS National member organisations are invited to join us to celebrate the contribution made by European Cancer Nurses. Each member organisation has been provided with a toolkit to enable them to participate in the celebration. We are also encouraging member organisations to contact relevant stakeholders in their country to bring this celebration to their attention.

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Contact: EONS Communications Manager Helen Oswald at