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Europa Uomo: the European Prostate Cancer Coalition

Tom Hudson, Louis J Denis
Recent Results in Cancer Research 2007, 175: 267-71
17432565
Europa Uomo is a patient-led, non-governmental association (NGO), launched formally in Milan in 2004 with a legal base in Antwerp. As a coalition of prostate cancer patient groups with representation in 18 European countries, the NGO focusses on awareness, early detection, optimal treatment, multi-professional care and, above all, quality of life and patient advocacy. In the majority of European countries prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer affecting men beyond middle age. The incidence and substantial mortality rises with age, peaking in the seventh decade. Standards of diagnosis and treatment vary across Europe and attitudes differ. Information about the early detection and awareness of prostate cancer available to the public leaves much to be desired. Since 2002, involved individuals, patient support groups, patients, family members, physicians, urologists, oncologists and nurses joined in the formation of an independent, international, non-profit association of patient-led prostate cancer support groups from European countries known as Europa Uomo, the European Prostate Cancer Coalition. This Coalition was legally established as an NGO in June 2004 in Milan with the headquarters and secretariat in Antwerp, Belgium. Its membership represents 18 countries by the national or regional groups listed in Table 16.1 with their respective contact persons. The coalition is led by a steering committee under the control of the annual general assembly. The steering committee members and their co-ordinates are listed in Table 16.2. Scientific advice is given by a scientific committee chaired by Prof. H. Van Poppel as the liaison officer with the European Association of Urology (EAU). The support for EAU guidelines appears on the Web site and will be linked to all members in their own language (www.cancerworld.org/europauomo). The goals and activities of Europa Uomo have been condensed in a series of slides at the request of the Eurocan+Plus collaboration to facilitate international collaboration. These slides have been listed in Tables 16.3, 16.4 16.5, 16.6, 16.7, 16.8, 16.9, 16.10, 16.11, 16.12, 16.13 and 16.14. It should be noted that membership includes supporting activities for patients and adherence to our 10 objectives listed in the manifest (Tables 16.4-16.6). The bottom line is that the coalition focuses on peer-to-peer support, information and education, as well as partnership with professional associations. We in Europa Uomo hope to see the decrease in over-treatment and mortality of prostate cancer by the clinical activities, trials and research of the professional organizations. We have the great opportunity to be supported and sponsored by the European School of Oncology (ESO) and its director Dr. A. Costa. The European Society of Medical oncology (ESMO), the International Consultation of Urological Diseases (ICUD) and the International Prostate Health Council (IPHC) support our advice on scientific data. It is quite natural that all of our members have joined the European Cancer Patients Coalition (ECPC) to speak for all European patients with one voice. We are a young association but ambitious enough to launch several projects in addition to the Web site, such as the Prostate Passport, a global coalition of patient support organizations, and a series of patient symposia. In this way we are able to show our support and collaboration with all health workers, including nurses, social workers, nutritionists and psychologists. We like to conclude this contribution with a list of questions to the experts from our participation in the 6th International Consultation of Urological Diseases (ICUD) symposium in Paris (Hudson et al. 2006).

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