31 August 2022

Male-targeted approaches can help change behaviours

A new report from the European Cancer Organisation (ECO) recommends that prostate cancer screening programmes should be introduced on a systematic basis in Europe. It says “there is now clear evidence supporting risk-stratified screening while reducing the number of unnecessary biopsies and avoiding over-treatment”.

The report, Men and Cancer: Raising the issues, is based on contributions at a roundtable meeting on men and cancer held earlier this year. Contributors included Hendrik Van Poppel, Co-Chair of ECO’s Inequalities Network, Matti Aapro, ECO Immediate Past-President and Günther Carl of Europa Uomo.

The meeting concluded that the excess burden of cancer in men must be addressed as part of the effort to address inequalities in cancer outcomes, and that a male-targeted approach such as delivering health programmes at football stadia can help to change men’s health behaviours and improve their use of services.

Specifically it recommended that the European Commission should revise its 2003 screening guidelines to take account of new evidence about the risks and benefits of organised screening for prostate cancer.

The report says there is a need for a new European Prostate Cancer Initiative, modelled on the European Commission’s Breast Cancer Initiative which has specified essential levels of quality care that are equally accessible across Europe.