Access to Specialists
Access to specialist care is crucial for ongoing monitoring of prostate cancer disease progression and ensuring that those affected receive access to the right treatment at the right time.
Review by a multidisciplinary and multi-professional team, including a medical oncologist, a cancer nurse and a radiotherapist is vital to ensure that patients receive a tailored care and treatment plan. Unfortunately, there is no comparative data on access to these medical professionals in Europe.
Data on the number of urologists across Europe suggest that there is considerable variation in access to specialist care across Europe with a particularly low number of urologists in Ireland and the UK. In 2018 there was one urologist per 64,260 inhabitants in the UK2 compared to one per 14,000 in Germany.3
More needs to be done to ensure equal and timely access to specialist prostate cancer care for those affected no matter where in Europe they live.
Cost of cancer
Prostate cancer patient outcomes are influenced by several factors, including effective access to timely diagnosis, specialist care and the right treatment at the right time.4 An appropriately funded healthcare infrastructure provides the bedrock for the prostate cancer medical workforce to provide holistic care for those affected. Those countries that invest more in cancer care tend to achieve better patient outcomes.5
National governments should ensure the necessary infrastructure is in place so that patients have timely access to high quality multidisciplinary prostate cancer services at every stage of the treatment and care pathway, as promoted in ECCO's Essential Requirements for Quality Cancer Care.6
Cancer medicines spend
The significant variation in cancer medicines spend across Europe7 suggests that not all men across Europe receive optimal treatment. We are calling on policy makers and health system leaders to ensure that those affected by prostate cancer receive the right treatment at the right time, no matter where in Europe they live.
European Society of Residents in Urology (ESRU). Countries: Ireland. March 2018. Accessible at https://esru.eu/?q=ireland (last accessed March 2022)
2 British Association of Urological Surgeons and The Specialist Advisory Committee in Urology. Workforce Report. 2018. Accessible at https://www.baus.org.uk/_userfiles/pages/files/publications/Workforce_Report_Sep%202018%20ver%201.1.pdf (last accessed March 2022)
3 European Society of Residents in Urology (ESRU). Countries: Germany. March 2018. Accessible at https://esru.eu/?q=germany (last accessed March 2022)
4 Van Poppel, H et al. White paper on Prostate Cancer, Recommendations for the EU Cancer Plan to tackle Prostate Cancer. European Association of Urology. 2020. Accessible at https://uroweb.org/wp-content/uploads/EAU-Prostate-Cancer-Pca-WhitePaper-Recommendation-for-Recommendations-for-the-EU-Cancer-Plan-May-2020.pdf (last accessed March 2022)
5 Hofmarcher, T et al. Comparator Report on Cancer in Europe in 2019. IHE Report 2019:7
6 Banks, I et al. ECCO Essential Requirements for Quality Cancer Care: Primary care. Critical Reviews in Oncology/Haematology. 2019. 142:187-199
7 Hofmarcher, T et al. Comparator Report on Cancer in Europe in 2019. IHE Report 2019:7. Accessible at https://www.efpia.eu/publications/cancer-comparator-report/cancer-types/prostate-cancer/ (last accessed March 2022)