Let’s Talk Prostate Cancer calls for action by MEPs


An organisation representing the interests of patients with prostate cancer has published a manifesto ahead of the EU elections next year, calling for more screening for the disease in EU member states.

Let’s Talk Prostate Cancer – an expert group that operates with financial support from pharma companies Astellas, Amgen and Pfizer – is urging MEPs to include the implementation of risk-based screening for prostate cancer into their manifestos and strategies across all EU member states, to alleviate the burden of prostate cancer on men and families across Europe.

It notes that more than 2 million individuals in the EU have prostate cancer, making it the most diagnosed male cancer, and the incidence of the disease is on the rise.

The group says it welcomed the draft EU Council Recommendation on cancer screening that was published in September 2022 and extended the scope to include prostate cancer. It was however disappointed when the initial proposals on this type of cancer were watered down by the Council of Ministers shortly afterwards in what the European Cancer Organisation (ECO) described as being driven by “excessive caution and reduced ambition.”

Now, the Election Manifesto document is asking MEPs to sign a declaration giving their support for a number of issues to be addressed in the EU’s 2024-2029 mandate, including an expansion of the bloc’s Beating Cancer Plan – which aims to drive prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment, and quality of life of cancer patients and survivors – to address prostate cancer. 

It is also seeking the provision of new funding for screening programmes, a comprehensive strategy on men’s health spanning prostate cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes, and asks the MEPs to “drive a mental health debate relevant for men’s health.”

“Let’s Talk Prostate Cancer…is dedicated to improving patient outcomes for prostate cancer. To this end, we will continue working closely and in full transparency with EU policymakers to address the ambitions of our Call to Action at the EU level over the next mandate,” says the manifesto.

“We cherish the growing participation of MEPs in the…initiative, and we will fully support activities initiated in the upcoming mandate that align with our shared goals.”

The Let’s Talk Prostate Cancer expert group has meanwhile launched a Men’s Health White Paper which advocates for requisite policy attention from the EU corresponding to the level of unmet medical need, pointing out for example that 60% of all cancer diagnoses recorded annually in Europe occur in men.

The white paper highlights the key role of gender in shaping health outcomes and outlines the health challenges males may face during their lifetime, including an increased burden of disease, stigma and health inequalities.