Europe is battling with bladder cancer. Close to 67K people succumbed to bladder cancer in 2020 alone. Health systems in Europe end up spending nearly 5 Bn Euros on caring and treating those affected by bladder cancer.
Marking the month of May as “Bladder Cancer Awareness Month”, POLITICO STUDIO had Alan McDougall, senior VP – Medical Affairs at Astellas Pharma Europe Ltd. to talk about bladder cancer and the way patients are getting impacted. Discussion about economies and health systems in Europe was also on the anvil. Alan has served as a medical doctor for as many as 14 years prior to moving to pharmaceutical industry. Astellas come across as a pharmaceutical company known for oncology, urology, and transplantation.
General Facts about Bladder Cancer
Bladder cancer is seen more in the developed countries. Europe is amongst the top 10 regions housing bladder cancer patients. Moreover, men are more prone to this type of cancer. However, the outcomes in case of women are severe, though this comes as a surprise to majority of people. It has been observed that people do know about breast cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer, but very few of them have heard of something known as “bladder cancer”.
Another observation is that 50% of those suffering from bladder cancer tend to have recurrence. Also, the fact that bladder surgery could be complicated beyond imagination can’t be ruled out. The mental health of the patient could also get adversely affected. In all, the surgery and follow-up does render bladder cancer as one of the costliest ailment all across.
Furthermore, morbidity and mortality of the bladder cancer patients could result in productivity losses amounting to 329 Mn and 769 Mn Euros respectively.
The restraint on this part is that the only treatment available for these patients is BCG (Bacillus Calmette-Guerin) vaccine. This vaccine is being administered since the last 4 decades with no significant progress in this regard. This is actually the grey area. Meticulous research needs to be conducted over here.
On the other hand, Europe is implementing “Beating Cancer Plan”, so as to improve the quality of life for those infected with bladder cancer. Plus, relevant actions taken for bladder cancer patient community are inclusive of reduction of exposure to the hazardous radiations and substances in the work settings, creating awareness regarding the ill-effects of tobacco and alcohol (as it is an established fact that smokers are two-three times more likely to contract bladder cancer), and engaging youngsters in volunteering activities herein.
What’s with Bladder Cancer patients in Canada?
Bladder Cancer Canada, all through the month of May, would be utilizing social media to effectively host patient features and podcasts. Programs conducted and measures taken on this count would also be promoted. The social media pages created herein include “Bladder Cancer Canada Awareness – Kingston”.
On May 2, beginning at dusk, Kingston City Hall would be witnessing fading between yellow and red. “Yellow” would emphasize the usual color of urine with a tinge of “red” to epitomize blood, which would, in turn, denote “If you see Red – See Your Doctor”. It needs to be noted that hematuria (blood in urine) is the first indication of bladder cancer in majority of cases.
As such, the developed economies are going the “Apprising” ways regarding Bladder Cancer with Europe and Canada to list out.