Suffering beyond physical effects: inequalities and taboos in prostate cancer

pharmaphorum podcast episode 91a

In this episode of the pharmaphorum podcast, web editor Nicole Raleigh speaks with André Deschamps, formerly president of Europa Uomo, the voice of men with prostate cancer in Europe. Deschamps is now involved in the Let’s Talk Prostate Cancer (LTPC) Expert Group, as well as the Belgian society, Wij Ook (part of Europa Uomo).

Prostate cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer among men, with more than two million people living with the disease across Europe. In fact, more men die from prostate cancer every year than women do from breast cancer. Yet there are unacceptable inequalities when it comes to access to cancer screening, treatment, and services.

Deschamps himself was diagnosed with prostate cancer at the young age of 51 (the average age of diagnosis is 65 years old) and he had a radical prostatectomy. His negative experience of the prostate cancer journey, including the taboo around it, led him to assist other men to fare better than he had. All men impacted by prostate cancer, he says, suffer beyond the considerable physical effects of the disease.

However, seeing the lack of political interest in increasing awareness and facilitating early screening, LTPC was established in 2018, supported by industry, in order to address the challenges. Indeed, the campaign provides an opportunity to address a severe gap in policy commitment, Deschamps says.

Going forward, the publication of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan and a renewed focus on EU health policy as a result of the pandemic are a chance to ensure prostate cancer is prioritised at an EU and national level. So it is that in the lead up to EU elections, LTPC will be working to identify the needs in member states and collaborate with regional and national stakeholders to deliver policy impact and support access to early detection, diagnosis, and treatment.

You can listen to episode 91a of the pharmaphorum podcast in the player below, download the episode to your computer, or find it – and subscribe to the rest of the series - in iTunes, Spotify, acast, Stitcher, and Podbean.

The activities of the Let’s Talk Prostate Cancer Expert Group are funded by Astellas Pharma Inc, Amgen Inc, and Pfizer Inc, which collectively contribute to and support the objectives of the Expert Group.