Bladder Cancer Europe 2016 meeting: Urgent policy action needed
To highlight the importance of tackling bladder cancer issues the International Centre for Parliamentary Studies (iCPS) organised last June the Bladder Cancer Europe 2016 meeting. Several EAU representatives were present at this pivotal roundtable meeting in Brussels to discuss the ongoing challenges in managing bladder cancer more effectively and explore practical solutions in order to reach an EU-wide consensus and implement a forward action plan.
More than 175,000 people are diagnosed with Bladder Cancer in Europe each year; and this number is increasing. More people die from BCa than all the UK military deaths in every conflict since 1945. It’s one of the most expensive cancers to treat and affects all genders and age groups. "We tend to forget that bladder cancer is the fifth most common cancer in Europe, yet resource provision including funding for research and reimbursement of new medicines does not reflect the high disease burden or societal cost”, says Francesco de Lorenzo, President of European Cancer Patient Coalition.
Prof Hein Van Poppel, Adjunct Secretary General, European Association of Urology added: “Whereas many actions need to be implemented at national level, the European Commission should recognise the burden imposed by bladder cancer by promoting the use of guidelines. EAU’s bladder cancer guidelines and its broader use at country level can help to improve clinical outcomes.”
The general consensus of the meeting was that the EU should act and recommended the following actions:
- Continue to consider initiatives to reduce and monitor the exposure to carcinogenic chemicals and continue efforts to reduce tobacco consumption in Europe, which is the main cause of bladder cancer.
- Ensure occupational health and safety legislation; encourage the continuous health surveillance of those at high risk of devoloping occupational cancers and invest in trials to identify best approaches for early detection.
- Address lack of resources, increase research funding and ensure all patients have access to multidisciplinary units involving urologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists, radiologists, psycho-oncologists and palliative care experts.
The full Bladder Cancer Health Report 2016 includes contributions of EAU Representatives Prof. Hein Van Poppel, Prof. Jim Catto, Prof. Fred Witjes and Prof. Morgan Roupret.