To mark Europa Uomo’s 20th anniversary, we are asking people to explain its importance to them. Board member Tania Estapé provides her view

I first properly became aware of Europa Uomo when we founded FEFOC, the foundation against cancer in Spain. We are the first Spanish organisation that promotes prostate cancer. We wanted to find an international space and to be part of a European network of patient organisations.

I came to represent FEFOC with Europa Uomo, and then became a Board member.  This is unusual, because I am a woman and not a patient – my interest in prostate cancer is a professional one (as a psycho-oncologist I see prostate cancer patients every day).

However, I think it is important that people like myself can be involved, to give prostate cancer visibility in countries where men are less willing to speak up. Prostate cancer is still a taboo disease in Spain, and men really don’t want to talk about it or participate in support groups.

Europa Uomo is important to my organisation because it provides us with a wider perspective of other cultures, gives insight into other ways of coping with illness and provides access to advocacy skills. It is a very good experience to know men who are skilled in advocacy, expert in prostate cancer and its consequences and prepared to talk about their own situation. I can feed this back to my own country and we can discuss how to move forward.

Europa Uomo has achieved a huge amount over the past 20 years. I’d like to see it becoming even more successful at reaching men in every country of Europe. We always need to be aware of the differences between countries in Europe, and sometimes we need to find ways of adapting to their individual circumstances.