Against Cancer for the New Millenium
Charter of Paris: 4 February 2000
patients' quality of life is a primary objective in the effort against
cancer. Both the physical and emotional burdens of cancer can be significant,
and often they are compounded by the side effects of treatment. Because
clinical outcomes can be affected by the overall state of a patient's
mental and physical well being, the preservation of quality of life
-- including physical, psychological and social functioning -- should
be a medical as well as a humanitarian priority. It also must be noted
that while giant strides have been taken to improve cure rates in
the last 20 years, the majority of the world's cancer patients today
do not experience a cure.
When cancer is not curable, important quality of life advantages still
can be achieved through optimal anticancer treatment (chemotherapy,
radiotherapy) and supportive care, including pain and fatigue management,
and end of life palliation.
The parties will pursue the following goals to increase commitment
to quality of life issues in the fight against cancer:
1. Improvement in the comprehensive care of people with cancer including
supportive care and palliation through specific treatment modalities.
2. Recognition at the clinical and also at the policy level of the
importance of patients' quality of life, regardless of the stage of
the disease and prognosis, and optimal supportive care of cancer patients,
particularly in instances in which cure is not achievable.
3. Prioritization of quality of life as a key endpoint in the development
of new drugs and also in patient care.
4. Aggressive, continued development of scientific tools to measure
and assess quality of life in the clinical setting.
5. Intensive education of healthcare professionals and cancer patients
regarding both the need and the opportunity for effective cancer pain
control at every stage of disease and treatment. Cancer-related pain
profoundly impacts quality of life and is often grossly underestimated
and undertreated, even when it can be adequately controlled.
6. Pursuit of a better understanding and also a transformation of
attitudes regarding death and dying, to ensure that the end of life
is accepted as a natural experience that can and should be addressed
medically, psychologically, emotionally and spiritually. Optimal medical
care of the dying cancer patient must be effective, humane and compassionate