22 March 2021

Evidence presented on urgent need to address prostate cancer mortality

The European Parliament has to seriously consider the possibility of recommending new screening programmes for prostate cancer, said key European politicians at a special committee meeting on the new EU Beating Cancer plan last week.

Hearing evidence about the importance of early detection, including a presentation by Europa Uomo’s Scientific Committee Chairman Hein Van Poppel, both the Chair and the Rapporteur of the Beating Cancer Committee said that cancer screening programmes needed to be extended in Europe.

“All these different measures have to be examined within the work of our report,” said Véronique Trillet-Lenoir, Rapporteur.

Giving evidence at the meeting, Hein Van Poppel emphasised that PSA-based programes based on informing patients and stratifying risk meant that unnecessary biopsies, overdiagnosis and overtreatment need no longer be associated with prostate screening programmes. There is evidence not just that cases of prostate cancer are rising but that falls in mortality are levelling off.

“No one needs to die from prostate cancer these days,” said Professor Van Poppel, who is Adjunct Secretary General of the European Association of Urology. “We hope that the review of the 2003 EU council recommendations on cancer screening will add prostate cancer. It gives the European Union a unique opportunity to address what’s going wrong with prostate cancer mortality.”