Heart Health Articles

Prostate Cancer: Men Deserve Better - Treat The Man And Not The Disease

June 15, 2017

Vast improvements in prostate cancer recognition, management and treatment are needed, according to major prostate cancer groups speaking at the European Association of Urology's 24th Annual Congress.

The prostate cancer charter for change from 13 influential European and US prostate cancer patient groups, calls for the disease to be treated with the same level of priority as breast cancer is in women. The charter covers unmet needs in all areas of care from increasing awareness of the importance of screening to highlighting the impact of prostate cancer on love lives.

The group's overarching concern is a lack of clear and consistent information, particularly in areas that affect a man's quality of life and that of his family. Prostate cancer and its treatments impact on all elements of a man's life and not just his physical being. Many men experience urinary incontinence and impotence which can severely compromise their sense of masculinity and day-to-day quality of life, affecting their work, social activity and love life. The charter asks for practices to be put into place to better inform and educate men, their families and all those involved in prostate cancer care of the far reaching effects of the disease and to encourage a more open, communicative and holistic approach to its treatment and management.

Tom Hudson, Chairman of Europa Uomo, explains, "Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men, yet it attracts far less attention than breast cancer in women. Our charter highlights the shortcomings in the current management of men with this condition but from a very practical viewpoint. For example, maintaining key relationships, love life and intimacy throughout prostate cancer is incredibly important but can often be overlooked. Many men feel uncomfortable discussing these issues and avoid them altogether. It is an area which is absolutely key to men's quality of life and there needs to be a cultural shift in the way it is approached and managed"

Men are living longer than ever before, reaching ages at which prostate cancer risk is highest. Prostate cancer is a disease predominantly affecting elderly men and the number of deaths from prostate cancer in Europe has increased by around 16% since 19951. Worldwide, more than 670,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year2 and there are approximately 2 million men living with this condition in Europe3. Incidence and prevalence rates vary widely around the world, with by far the highest rates in North America and Northern and Western Europe4.

Louis Denis, Secretary of Europa Uomo, adds "There is still much room for improvement in the management of prostate cancer and the fight against the disease is far from over. Prostate cancer does not receive anywhere near the level of interest and funding it warrants and this must be addressed. With the right holistic approach, men diagnosed with prostate cancer can live long and fulfilled lives. This approach has been taken very successfully to women with breast cancer and we believe that men deserve to be treated in the same way. At the moment, quality of life for men with prostate cancer can be very low, and steps must be taken to recognise and treat the whole person behind the disease, not just the disease itself.

Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity - World Health Organization

Participating Prostate Cancer Groups

Austria Selbsthilfe Prostatakrebs
Belgium Wij Ook Belgi├ź - US Too Belgium
Denmark PROPA Prostate Cancer Patient Society
France Association National des Malades du cancer de la prostate (l'ANAMACaP)
Germany Bundesverband ProstataKrebs Selbsthilfe BPS
Ireland Men Against Cancer (MAC)
Italy Europa Uomo Italia Onlus
Netherlands Stichting Contactgroep Prostaatkanker
Sweden Prostatacancerf├Ârbundet
UK Prostate Cancer Support Federation

The creation of the charter was supported by financial assistance from Ferring Pharmaceuticals


1. Ferlay J, Autier P, Boniol M et al. Estimates of the Cancer Incidence and Mortality in Europe in 2006. Annals of Oncology 2007; 18: 581-592
2. Cancer research UK
3. europa-uomo/
4. M. Quinn and P. Babb. Patterns and trends in prostate cancer incidence, survival, prevalence and mortality. Part I: international comparisons. 2002. BJU International. Volume 90: Issue 2; Pages 162 - 173

European Association of Urology