May is Bladder Cancer Awareness Month!

May 1, 2014
by Monica Smith

“I never heard of bladder cancer until I was first diagnosed.”

 

Awareness MonthIf the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network was given $1 each time that statement was uttered, we would have more than enough money to find the cure.

Over 500,000 people are living with bladder cancer in the United States.  Nearly 75,000 people will be diagnosed this year and 15,000 will die.  Bladder cancer is the 6th most commonly diagnosed cancer, yet public awareness of the disease is alarmingly low.  With so little known in the public about the disease, it is difficult for patients to make informed treatment decisions when they are diagnosed.

With the help of seven patient advocates, we began our efforts to engage Congress to pass a resolution recognizing May as Bladder Cancer Awareness Month.  BCAN hosted a day on Capitol Hill and met with members of Congress.  Our advocates shared their personal stories and urged their representatives to take action.

Rep. Matt Cartwright of PA and Rep. Mike Rogers of MI introduced House Resolution 538 to recognize May as Bladder Cancer Awareness Month.  We are grateful for their leadership and dedication to those living with bladder cancer and their loved ones.  You can help by asking your representative to support this important issue.  As with other diseases, public awareness is the first step towards finding a cure.  We hope to have the month nationally recognized, but regardless, we must move forward.

This May, and every May, we will commemorate the month with public awareness programs, increased education, and a greater emphasis on sharing the struggles of those diagnosed with the disease and their loved ones.We are kicking off our May festivities with BCAN’s Annual Walk for Bladder Cancer, which brings together survivors, loved ones and medical professionals in their local communities.    We are pleased to launch our new “Signs and Symptoms” fact sheet to help education the public.  Many events are planned for the month including two Patient Insight Webinars on nutrition and the launch of a new “Conversations:  Let’s Talk About Bladder Cancer” discussing recurrence. We have a special webpage dedicated to Bladder Cancer Awareness Month which includes media promotions and stories about women and bladder cancer.  Follow our social media for “Take Action Mondays”, “Women Wednesdays” and “Fact Fridays” to learn more about bladder cancer and how you can get involved.

Join BCAN this May and all year long to bring bladder cancer awareness to the forefront.  Share your story.  Talk about your symptoms and your cancer journey.  You will not only increase awareness of the disease, but you could help save a life.  Post to our Facebook page or email at awareness@bcan.org.

Together, we are making a difference.

 

 

 

 

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