UF to host bladder cancer awareness events Saturday

For media inquiries call Helen Goh at 352-273-7658 or e-mail helen.goh@urology.ufl.edu

Community members from northern Florida will celebrate Bladder Cancer Awareness Day from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, July 17 at Shands Cancer Hospital at the University of Florida. Bladder cancer survivors, caregivers and loved ones hope to raise awareness of the disease and inspire others who may feel like they are going through their bladder cancer journey alone.

Organized by the University of Florida department of urology, the event features a brief introduction and a question-and-answer session about the disease led by Scott Gilbert, M.D., an assistant professor of urology and director of the urologic oncology program.

Featured will be an advance screening of the new documentary film “Living Downstream,” by renowned scientist and bladder cancer survivor Sandra Steingraber, Ph.D. The film is based on her highly acclaimed book of the same title that traces the impact of environmental pollution on bladder cancer. The event is being held at the Shands Auxiliary Conference room at the cancer hospital.

The event aims to provide a comfortable environment for survivors and their loved ones to share common experiences and seek further information.

As the fifth most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States, bladder cancer is a significant health concern. There are more than 70,000 new cases and 14,000 deaths each year. Bladder cancer has a recurrence rate of 50 to 80 percent and because it requires lifelong surveillance, it is the most expensive cancer to treat on a per patient basis.

About $2.9 billion is spent on the treatment of bladder cancer in the United States each year. While scientists and clinicians continue to search for answers to treat the disease, health-care providers, patients and family members are working toward raising awareness and providing support and encouragement for each other, organizers say.

Bladder Cancer Awareness Day is being held in conjunction with the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network, the first national advocacy organization dedicated to increasing public awareness of bladder cancer, advancing bladder cancer research and providing educational and support services for the bladder cancer community. It was founded in 2005 as a result of a cooperative effort among bladder cancer survivors, their families and caregivers, and the medical community.

For more information or to register, please call the Shands Consultation Center at 352-265-0943.