In this unique session, healthcare professionals, patient advocates, patients and their caregivers discussed their experiences and knowledge on several interesting topics, including sustainable continence care and fatigue in prostate cancer patients.
Chairs Prof. Eamonn Rogers (IE) and Mrs. Mary Lynne Van Poelgeest-Pomfret (NL) moderated a discussion about the environmental impact on waste products in continence care.
In her pre-recorded presentation “Sustainable continence care: How do we minimise the waste produced by absorbents”, Dr. Tiina Vaittinen (FI) stated that approximately 400 million people in the world live with urinary incontinence and 6% of those under 40 live with faecal incontinence. Postpartum urinary incontinence affects every third person who has given birth, with every 10th birth-giver left with faecal leakages. Approximately 4% of municipal waste in OECD countries come from adult incontinence pads and it takes 500 years for an adult incontinence pad to decompose.
According to Dr. Vaittinen, many forms of incontinence can be treated, even cured, but most often the solution given is to manage it with an incontinence pad. There is a stigma attached to incontinence, thus many people stay silent, and this is a real problem.
“Urologists have a crucial role to play in developing sustainable continence care. We must bridge the gap between knowledge in primary health care and specialised care so that people have access to diagnostics and cure.”
In a closing statement Prof. Chris Chapple (NL) EAU Secretary General said, “The EAU is fully committed to sustainable continence care and we take this subject seriously. We need to focus on the key issues and getting the patients involved is essential.”
The Roundtable: Sustainable Continence Care was supported by an unrestricted grant from Medtronic.
In Prof. Philip Cornford’s (GB) presentation “What is fatigue and how does it impact PCa patients?”, he stated that fatigue is not just ‘I feel tired’, and cancer-related fatigue is different from the fatigue healthy people feel. The prostate cancer treatments cause mental, physical and emotional fatigue, such as brain fog, depression, change in physical performance, falls and the need to change life.
According to Prof. Cornford, “30% of patients with prostate cancer get fatigue, and this has a big impact on their quality of life, yet nearly 1/3 of patients don’t mention it to their healthcare team or know what to do about it.”
Mrs. Louisa Fleure (GB) presented some useful points on how to manage cancer-related fatigue. “Health professionals must ask the patient questions and really listen, for example; What does fatigue mean to you? What’s important to you? What have you tried? How was that?”
She stressed the importance of exercise, just starting out small and often, setting achievable goals and asking for help if needed. “Exercise is where we have really good evidence that it can help fatigue.”
Patient advocate Mr. John Dowling said “one mistake I made was to try and do things on my own but I see now that it is key to have a network to progress.”
According to Mr Dowling, the level of fatigue is related to the kind of treatment patients are on, with chemotherapy having the most effects, followed by radiotherapy and ADT. All patients react differently to treatments.
All EAU Patient Day sessions are available via EAU22 On Demand on the Virtual Platform.
The Roundtable discussion: Fatigue in Prostate Cancer Patients was supported by hands-off grant from Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc.