Welcome speech Vienna Seminar – June 2017

 

Good morning ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to Europa Uomo’s seminar „360 Degree Prospectives on Prostate Cancer“ in Vienna,

My name is Ekkehard Büchler. I am prostate cancer surviver. I was diagnosed with a high risk prostate cancer and operated in 1993. As you can see, I am still alive.

„Selbsthilfe Prostatakrebs“ was founded by Professor Zechner, the former chief physician of the urological department at the Wilhelminen Spital in Vienna, and myself in 1997. We will celebrate 20 years Selbsthilfe Prostatakrebs this November.

Over the years our patient initiated prostate cancer education and support group has developed very well, it was a founding member of ECPC, the European Cancer Patient Coalition and of Europa Uomo – The European Prostate Cancer Coalition, where I held the position as vice chair until yesterday. Within Selbsthilfe Prostatakrebs, I will be the chairman for the next 4 years.

Our aims of our support group are as follows:

We want to offer men diagnosed with prostate cancer the possibility to talk to others in the same situation about their fears, problems, and conflicts, and to communicate their own experiences and feelings, in order to be able to help each other by understanding and learning from each other.

At workshops, meetings, we offer possibilities to listen to specialist presentations held by experts and then discuss the topics, in more detail, with the respective speakers.

Those concerned are to become „responsible and mature patients“ who are well-informed about their illness and who are empowered to help make an educated decision about which therapies are relevant and appropriate for them in consultation with their respective doctors.

What is most important for us as patients? The main questions: Will we be healed?, and what side effects will we have? What about our quality of life?

This is a question nobody in Austria can answer. And why not? A patient in Austria is diagnosed with prostate cancer and is treated in a hospital. And then he leaves the clinic with a report and is sent to his urologist. And the clinic has in most cases no, absolutely no idea how their patients are after they leave the hospital. Are they still alive or what side effects do they have?

In Sweden, for example, there is already a well-established cancer register, which is sadly missing in Austria!

The urological clinic of the MedUni Vienna has started a program called ICHOM. This is a very strict quality control of treatments. In Germany, the Martini Clinic has been using ICHOM for a couple of years and the outcome is that the Martini Clinic is now one of the leading urological clinics in the world!

But most important is an excellent relationship with our doctors! They are the ones who can save our lives.

Selbsthilfe Prostatakrebs and I are in the very lucky position of having Prof. Shahrokh Shariat as our mentor and personal friend since he is in Vienna.

In 2012 Prof. Shariat was voted best urologist oncologist in New York. He was twice selected as one of the leading urologists in the USA.

He is the only person to have been awarded both the top prizes for urology. 2014 the EAU Crystal Matula Award and now the AUA Gold Cystoscope Award just recently in Boston on May 16th 2017. He was the first person outside the USA to receive this prize.

Many top urologists from Vienna and Lower Austria are holding presentations and discussions at and with our support group.

We regret having no ways to talk and deal with our politicians. We, the prostate cancer patients and survivors have such an enormous knowledge about our problems and the politicians just do not want to know the real facts.

I hope you enjoy our seminar today. If you want to know more about prostate cancer, just join our prostate cancer education and support group. For 2017, it is just € 25.

Thank you!

Ekkehard Büchler

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Downloadable presentations: