Princess Mathilde launches European Cancer Prevention Plan

  September 29, 2009 at 3:35 pm by

Princess Mathilde attended the launch of the European Partnership to Fight Cancer in the period 2009-2013, today in Brussels, at the invitation of José Manuel Barrosso, the President of the European Commission. She was welcomed to the convention by the Commissioner for Health, Androulla Vassiliou.

View the image at Belga

At the meeting, the Princess gave a speech, in which she emphasised that cancer is a widespread disease, which is very difficult to fight, but “we should not forget that it can very often be beaten.” She also proudly talked about the steps Belgium has already taken to coordinate cancer research, prevention and treatment better. She repeated that prevention and screening are the key to fighting cancer, as many types of cancer, different though they all are, can be more easily cured when discovered in an early stage.

She stressed that clinical research is vital to improve treatments, but that there should also be attention for psychological support for cancer patients, who often feel alone, despite all the attention given to them by family, friends and medical staff. The Princess also talked about her visit to a paediatric oncological institute earlier this year. She said: “I was deeply moved by this visit. I met very sick children, but they gave me a lesson on how to be brave: never to give up hope despite the burden of illness which is weighing heavily on their young shoulders.”

View the image at Belga

At the same time, Princess Astrid visited a cancer hospital in Oostduinkerke. She was greeted by enthusiastic crowds. At the center, she took the time to talk and listen to the patients, while she was guided by the doctors. Oostduinkerke being one of the places where shrimp is still collected on horseback, the Princess also met with some traditional shrimp fishermen.

For a thread on Princess Mathilde’s current events, see here.
The speech can be found here.

For a thread on Princess Astrid’s current events, see here.

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