11 December 2023

Agenda-setting report from ECO the EAU

A comprehensive prostate cancer initiative should be established by the European Commission to meet the scale of the prostate cancer challenge and drive improvement in all countries. This is a main recommendation in a new “roadmap” for action on men and cancer produced by the European Cancer Organisation, the European Association of Urology and Global Action on Men’s Health.

Time to Accelerate: Action on Men and Cancer says that the initiative should mirror the existing European Commission programme on breast cancer. “It should cover the entire pathway, including prevention, diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, management of recurrence and palliative care,” says the roadmap document.

It points out that men are more likely to develop cancer and to die from it than women, yet men’s cancers are not being addressed effectively by policymakers in Europe. More men are now living with prostate cancer than with any other cancer.

While welcoming the EU Council’s recognition of the need for national screening programmes in prostate cancer, it also emphasises the need “for universal actions by the EU to support national awareness of these recommendations as well as public reporting of their implementation”.

The organisations call for the improvement of men’s cancer outcomes through policy and male-targeted public health interventions. They identify key areas for policy attention that, if addressed, could significantly reduce the number of men with cancer and save lives.

These include:

  • improving early detection through gender-targeted health information and more flexible access hours for health services;
  • targeted approaches to improving male access to psychosocial support;
  • support for national level implementation of EU Council recommendations on prostate cancer screening;
  • improved response to the needs of groups of men at heightened risk of cancer and with worse outcomes;
  • routine cancer data collection and analysis covering sex and gender;
  • accelerated research into men and cancer;
  • national cancer plans that tackle gender-specific needs;
  • information and training for policymakers and practitioners on improving cancer policy and services for men;
  • ensuring gender-neutral HPV vaccination in all countries.

The document was launched in the European Parliament in Brussels, sponsored by Members of the European Parliament Alessandra Moretti and István Ujhelyi (pictured).