19 October 2022

Europa Uomo Chairman says awareness needed after European Commission screening recommendations

Europa Uomo will be producing new guidance to its member organisations around Europe in the light of the European Commission’s recent decision to recommend prostate cancer early detection programmes in member states.

“We want to help our members spread public awareness about the recommendations so will be supporting them to do this,” said Guenther Carl, Europa Uomo Chairman (pictured).

Europa Uomo will be issuing a new document summarising the recommendations and their implications in November and plans to have these translated into as many European languages as possible afterwards. It is also offering to support members as they try to build awareness and understanding of the changes among key authorities and health bodies.

“For the first time ever in the health sector, we now have a very detailed recommendation from the European Commission about what needs to happen,” says Guenther Carl. “We have never had such clear instructions before – not just saying there should be early detection, but how to do it. The details are brand new and the priority now is to create awareness of this in every country.”

In September, the European Commission recommended that a new Cancer Screening Scheme would extend organised screening to prostate cancer “based on the assessment of validated new screening tests, and on consideration of more general health system parameters, including risk-benefit ratio and cost-effectiveness”. Screening would be implemented with the support of evidence-based European guidelines with quality assurance, it said.

An annex to the recommendation provided more detail on how things should proceed on prostate cancer, saying: “Considering the evidence and the significant amount of ongoing opportunistic screening, countries should take a stepwise approach, including piloting and further research to evaluate the feasibility of implementation of organised programmes aimed at assuring appropriate management and quality on the basis of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing for men up to 70, in combination with additional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanning as a followup test.”