European Prostate Cancer Awareness Day 22 January 2019
Prostate Cancer is on the rise and the most frequent cancer in men. In fact, it is the third most common cause of cancer death in men in Europe, with important consequences for healthcare systems. Saving lives and ensuring a high quality of life requires immediate European actions.
The incidence of advanced Prostate Cancer in some countries is likely a reflection of the late detection. The lack of awareness of the need for early detection and in some cases the lack of proper diagnostic tools lead to (too) late discovery of the disease.
It is well-known that Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) tests in population screening programmes reduce the prostate cancer mortality rate. Still, the discussion on over-diagnosis and overtreatment continues while there are already new developments available that make better use of PSA testing and more to come.
On 22 January 2019 policy makers, scientific experts, European associations working in the urological field and representatives of European patient groups with an interest in prostate disease rediscussed the need for population-based prostate cancer screening programmes at a European level.
The Policy Paper on population-based PSA screening for prostate cancer was launched and formed the starting point of the discussion. The event was focussed on how early diagnosis will improve outcomes in European PCa patients and covered key topics such as the latest evidence, consequences of not performing PSA screening, overdiagnosis and overtreatment.
Based on the six recommendations of the paper, the present MEPs, Ms Dubravka Šuica, Member of the “MEPs against Cancer” group (MAC) and Ms Lieve Wierinck promised to include this topic in their campaigns for the next elections. The Innovative Partnership for Action Against Cancer (IPAAC) was also committed to contributing to take steps in early detection and screening of prostate cancer. Their coordinator Tit Albreht guaranteed their support to include population-based PSA screening on their political agenda as part of the Third Health Programme 2014–2020 by the European Commission.
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More than two million European men are living with prostate cancer.
Each year, over 92,000 men in the European Member States die of prostate cancer.
The yearly costs of PCa in Europe are over 9 billion euros, with healthcare accounting for 5.8 billion euros.