1 November 2023

Europa Uomo’s Vice Chairman addresses patient role in decision-making

Prostate cancer patients have taken significant progress over the past 20 years to ensure their voice is heard when decisions are being made about research and treatment. This is the message from Europa Uomo Vice Chairman Erik Briers, in a new podcast interview.

Diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2001 and a founder of Europa Uomo, Erik Briers (pictured) says he has witnessed a change from patients literally having to be “patient” for doctors to make decisions, to them being active in their own treatment and as advocates, making demands and influencing policy.

“My role is to be active,” he says. “We have really made steps. For example, we are involved in evaluating clinical trials to say whether or not for us they are relevant or not.”

However, he says it is important to recognise that not every patient wants to be active, or to take control in decision-making about their own condition.

“You will have patients who are well-informed and know exactly what they are up to, and they can really co-decide. And at the other end of the spectrum, you will have patients who find it harder to understand and will need a clinician to help them make that decision.”

“And that’s a difficult thing because not all clinicians –and I’m speaking Europe-wide – are good at explaining things to patients or at referring patients to a nurse specialist or to a patient organisation.”

Erik Briers was speaking on Karger’s The Waiting Room Podcast