August 2011

Register Now for BCAN’s Rocky Mountain Patient Forum

Online registration for our Rocky Mountain Patient Forum is now available!

Our next patient forum, “Understanding Bladder Cancer,” will take place on Saturday, September 24, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The forum is aimed at patients, family members, and caregivers from across the Rocky Mountain region.

BCAN Scientific Advisory Board member Dr. Dan Theodorescu, MD, PhD, from the University of Colorado is serving as our faculty chair. Joining him will be doctors from the University of Colorado, The Urology Center of Colorado, and St. Mary’s Regional Cancer Center.

Preregistration is required as space is limited and lunch will be provided. Register online now, or visit our patient forum page to learn more and see other registration options.

Clinical Trials – Susan’s Story

Susan was diagnosed with Stage 3 bladder cancer in early 2010. She participated in a clinical trial in which her bladder was removed and she received chemotherapy. She is now in remission.

At the 2011 Think Tank, Susan described her experiences in a clinical trial. She said, “I am now an advocate for clinical trials. When colleagues or friends are diagnosed with cancer one of my first responses is, ‘Are you part of a clinical trial?'”

Clinical trials are essential to the development of new bladder cancer treatments. Please consider helping to advance research by joining a bladder cancer clinical trial.

To see what clinical trials you qualify for, use BCAN’s Clinical Trials Matching Service by calling 800-504-7442 or visit You can also discuss clinical trials options with your physician.

BCAN’s 6th Annual Bladder Cancer Think Tank

BCAN’s 6th annual Bladder Cancer Think Tank started with a bang on Thursday, August 4! More than 100 leading doctors, researchers, patient advocates, and industry representatives came to Coronado, California to talk about ways to improve bladder cancer care. Check out our daily updates to see what we talked about:

The 2011 meeting theme was “Identifying Obstacles and Creating Solutions in Bladder Cancer: Basic Science, Clinical Trials and Survivorship.” Everyone at the meeting shared a common goal: working together to help advance bladder cancer research. This may be at the basic science level, by finding better ways to collect data, or by improving survivorship by creating new patient educational materials. We’ll keep you posted on the group’s accomplishments this year!

NCI Study and Diane Rehm Show Story: Stronger Than Expected Link Between Smoking and Bladder Cancer

A study published on August 16 by scientists from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) found that current smokers are at a higher risk of bladder cancer than was previously thought, and that women who smoke have the same risk as men. Read the full press release from the National Cancer Institute.

The study confirmed previous reports that the risk of bladder cancer drops significantly after quitting smoking. Smoking is the single greatest risk factor for bladder cancer. Remember – you don’t have to quit by yourself. There are programs to help. Smoking cessation information and resources are available at

Thursday’s Diane Rehm Show on NPR discussed the new NCI study, and BCAN’s Executive Director Larry Rzepka was part of the panel. Learn more about the show and listen online at the Diane Rehm Show website.

UCLA Study and CBS Story: Bladder Cancer Patients Don’t Receive Recommended Care

According to a study released in July by UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, many patients with high grade, non muscle-invasive bladder cancer are not receiving the recommended care. Read BCAN’s full release on the study here. As a result of the study, this CBS Evening News clip about bladder cancer was broadcast on Friday, July 29.

Stories like this are incredibly important. As the CBS article notes in its final paragraph, “Over 25 years, bladder cancer survival has not improved. It remains the most expensive cancer to treat. It gets among the lowest amount of funding of all cancers. There’s no reason why patients aren’t getting proper care. The disease needs more attention, more advocacy, and better-educated doctors.” We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of our volunteers and supporters who are helping us work to lessen this problem by providing educational materials to doctors, working to raising awareness, holding fundraisers, and helping support other patients.

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