This May, the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) is recognizing Bladder Cancer Awareness Month with a message highlighting the importance of awareness, patient education, and support. In the United States, bladder cancer is the sixth most common cancers and one of the costliest to treat. It is estimated that approximately 82,290 people will be diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2023.
Early detection of bladder cancer significantly improves one’s long-term survival and quality of life. Unfortunately, there are no preventive screening programs to detect bladder cancer. Bladder cancer is routinely found during an abnormal urinalysis or imaging test. The most common symptoms to watch out for include blood in the urine (or hematuria) and painful or frequent urination.
Smoking (tobacco products) is the greatest risk factor for bladder cancer. This is due to the cancer-causing effects of the chemicals in these products. Other risk factors include having a family history of bladder cancer, exposure to chemicals at work, and drinking water with high levels of arsenic, among others. There is no guaranteed way to prevent the disease but reducing its risk is the best chance for many.
ACCC continues to work on bladder cancer through its education programming. The second phase of its Addressing Disparities in Bladder Cancer Care education program seeks to further explore and address disparities in bladder cancer care. Through this project, ACCC will work with multidisciplinary care teams to increase the use of guideline-concordant care through shared decision-making and care coordination between oncology and urology professionals.
In addition, this ACCC education program seeks to assist healthcare professionals in learning and applying health literacy principles and addressing implicit biases to reduce disparities in care. This will be achieved through an interactive online course focused on shared decision-making and goals of care conversations in bladder cancer care. The association will also host a series of quality improvement workshops that will provide cancer programs and practices the opportunity to receive expert guidance, improve workflows, and identify actionable strategies to improve the quality of their bladder cancer care delivery.
Learn more about ACCC’s work in bladder cancer by going online.
The ACCC Addressing Disparities in Bladder Cancer Care is supported by EMD Serono and Pfizer and is in partnership with the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network and CancerCare.
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