The month of May is bladder cancer awareness month!

Bladder cancer is the fifth most common cancer in the Western world and the second most frequent malignancy of the urinary tract after prostate cancer. With more than 175,000 people being diagnosed with bladder cancer in Europe each year, more work needs to be done to reduce the burden of bladder cancer on patients.

Based on such disturbing statistics and even more alarming prognosis, the bladder cancer awareness campaign will be focused on educating, raising awareness, and making sure that bladder cancer is no longer a forgotten disease.

In 2016, The European Cancer Patient Coalition published a Policy Paper on Bladder Cancer to raise awareness about bladder cancer. The idea of this initiative came from ECPC member organization PaLiNUro from Italy that contacted us in 2015 signaling that “while information and patient support is far advanced in many solid tumours, it is still lacking for bladder cancer”. They also suggested ECPC that “a strategy aimed at joining efforts under a common platform would bring advances in the field”. The White Paper on Bladder Cancer is currently available in English, Turkish, and Italian. PaLiNUro identified the active patient groups in Europe and put us in touch with Andrew Winterbottom, Founder and Director of Fight Bladder Cancer UK that became the coordinator of ECPC activities devoted to bladder cancer.

Throughout May, European Cancer Patient Coalition will be taking part in various activites as part of our bladder cancer awareness campaign, including coordinating an event to blow #BubblesforBladderCancer. Bubbles for Bladder Cancer was an initiative started by Fight Bladder Cancer. Bubbles are a beautiful and poignant reminder of those who have lost their fight with this awful disease and used throughout this campaign to symbolise standing together with those currently undergoing treatment and everyone who is affected by bladder cancer.

The European Cancer Patient Coalition has created a social media toolkit to help organisations, supporters and allies coordinate activities to maximise the power of social media. It contains useful guidance and tools including inspiration on what to post and explanations on relevant tools and suggested activities.