Representatives of prostate patient support groups of 17 European countries defined the burden and action against prostate cancer in the following statement: Prostate cancer is one of the most common men’s cancers in all of Europe. It is estimated that nearly 150,000 new cases appear this year throughout the EU and the number will further rise in years to come. In Europe there are currently more than one million men living with prostate cancer.
New diagnostic methods and changes in men’s attitudes, due to increased awareness of the disease, mean that more and more prostate cancers are found at an early stage, when treatment options are more effective. Prostate cancer is a chronic disease that causes many emotional and social problems to patients and their families. Advances in long-term control of the disease improve both length and quality of life for patients. To control the social burden of the disease and its eventual prevention, increased resources are necessary to ensure continued advances in research and patient care.
For the reasons above, we have listed the following 10 key issues that need constant and determined attention:
1. To find ways and means to promote quality of life for prostate cancer patients and their families;
2. To promote the dissemination and exchange of evidence-based as well as factual and up to date information on prostate cancer;
3. To promote prostate awareness and appropriate diagnosis and prognosis;
4. To emphasise the need for appropriate early detection;
5. To campaign for provision of and access to optimum treatment;
6. To ensure quality, supportive care throughout and after treatment;
7. To promote multi-professional quality care and appropriate medical infrastructure;
8. To acknowledge good clinical practice and promote its development;
9. To ensure that all men fully understand any proposed treatment options, including entry into clinical trials and their right to a second opinion;
10. To promote the advancement of prostate cancer research.
We as European patients have taken up our responsibility for control of the disease by establishing the European Prostate Cancer Coalition, “Europa Uomo”.