People of various ages suffer from chronic and malignant urological conditions affecting the kidney, prostate, bladder and other vital organs in the urinary tract that significantly impair their quality of life.

Not only in Europe but across the globe, the number of complaints directly linked to urological disorders has risen in recent years due to an ageing population, but also better screening tools and improved public awareness on healthy lifestyles has led to an increased diagnosis of urological conditions.

Urological diseases range from cancers, urinary tract infections, incontinence, stones, voiding disorders, overactive bladder, erectile dysfunction, ureteral injury, female prolapse and paediatric conditions, to name a few. Urologic disorders also occur from early stages in development through the end of life.

Fortunately, there are better surgical and medical therapies, for instance, in prostate and kidney cancers compared to 10 or 20 years ago when survival rates were lower. A timely check with a urologist can make a big difference in preventing malignant diseases reach a level of crisis when treatment becomes more difficult and expensive. 

Initiatives from patient advocate groups are equally important and to complement these programmes, professional medical groups have drawn up long-term activities to promote public awareness. With the Internet often serving as an open but unmoderated resource, patients are well-served to consult professionally managed websites where they can find basic but relevant information regarding urological diseases and the corresponding surgical and medical therapies.

During this week in September, we aspire to start relevant discussions and share experiences about topics that are often still considered “awkward”. By breaking these taboos, we want to educate women, men, and children to regularly check their bodies for symptoms. Prevention is better than cure. Prevention can save lives.

A well-informed patient is central to functioning healthcare, and the readiness of people to seek specialist advice cannot be underestimated. Today, we have more options, but timely actions on health conditions are crucial for healthcare professionals to deliver optimal care.

Read more on: the EAU’s patient-dedicated website www.patients.uroweb.org

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The European Association of Urology (EAU) supports and offers specialists the needed opportunities to update their skills and knowledge. For more than four decades, the EAU has offered various research and educational platforms to urologists, clinicians and related healthcare professionals, including the EAU Guidelines that recommends the most effective care. The EAU also reaches out to the public through its Patient Information Programme via the website www.patients.uroweb.org and Urology Week.