Prostate cancer is an increasing burden in the European Union; it is not only the most common men’s cancer, but remains the second or third leading cause of cancer mortality in men, and has the highest prevalence of all cancers, with 2 million men living with prostate cancer. The ageing of the population will increase this burden, and several unsolved questions in the detection and management of the disease add substantially to compromising the quality of life of senior citizens. The long natural and treated history of prostate cancer provides a major cause of anxiety and distress to the patients. They need to learn that control of cancer is sometimes a preferred option to cure, and patient-centred care, with optimum treatment, is needed to increase the psychological, emotional, social and financial support to direct the choice of the right treatment for the right patient.
Europa Uomo, the European Prostate Cancer Coalition, was founded in 2004 in Milan, with the support of the European School of Oncology and the Oncological Centre Antwerp. Its mission includes the mobilization of and solidarity among all men, to raise awareness and education, early detection and access to optimum treatment, and promote research in the professional community of prostate cancer. This consensus started with 10 key policy options that we consider the focus of our goals, and that became known as the Manifesto of Europa Uomo (Appendix).
It is no surprise that quality of life is listed as the first priority, while peer support and partnerships with peer and professional associations are a constant in our future policies. The idea was enthusiastically received and now we have representatives in 18 European countries (Table 1), while we have established collaboration with the European Association of Urology, the European Society of Medical Oncology, the International Union against Cancer and, last but not least, the European Coalition of Cancer Patients. Our members look towards common projects of interest in the European Union, e.g. seeking organized information and education from the professional groups, the European Prostate Passport project, and setting up a reliable objective website http://www.cancerworld.org/europauomo.
|Austria||Selbsthilfe Prostatakrebs||E. Buechler|
|Belgium||US TOO Belgium (Wij Ook België)||L. Denis|
|Czech Republic||Arcus – Onko Centrum||J. Kozelska|
|Germany||Bundesverband Prostatakrebs Selbsthilfe e.V||C. Ligensa|
|Ireland||Men Against Cancer||T. Hudson|
|Italy||Europa Uomo Italy||F. Sereni|
|Norway||PROFO Norway||J. Christie|
|Portugal||Associação Portuguesa dos Doentes da Próstata||A. Pereira Pinto|
|Romania||Institute of Oncology Bucharest||S. Colovai|
|Slovak Republic||Europa Uomo Slovakia||V. Koprda|
|Netherlands||US TOO Forum – Epcel Nl||T. Eggenhuizen|
|SCP||J. van der Oord|
|UK||Prostate Cancer Support Federation||M. Lockett|
Despite our enthusiasm and our global aspirations to form a Worldwide Prostate Cancer Association for patient groups, we are not attempting to create a ‘European Unity’ group, as our membership has the autonomy to run their national programmes respecting the traditional and cultural differences that exist in Europe.
Europa Uomo is an international, independent, non-profit association of patient-led prostate cancer support groups. Its general assembly is the statutory decision-making body of the Coalition while an eight-member Steering Committee controls policies and initiatives. We are here to stay and we look forward to receiving sympathy and support from the professional community and civil society.