Bladder cancer is a disease of the bladder that affects all kinds of people, but especially smokers, people over 40 and people exposed to certain industrial chemicals. It is the fifth most common type of cancer in the United States according to the American Cancer Society. Many people feel that raising awareness of this disease is of critical importance. People of almost any age, background, income or level of health can help to raise awareness of this pervasive and largely preventable illness.
Difficulty: Moderately Challenging
Bring Awareness to Bladder Cancer
Join the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network to help raise awareness locally of this common form of cancer (see "Resources" below).
Let people know that bladder cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in the United States and that it affects, either directly or indirectly, the lives of millions of people every year.
Create a public awareness campaign to emphasize the strong link between smoking and bladder cancer. When you help people to kick the smoking habit, you are helping to eradicate bladder cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates that up to half of all instances of bladder cancer in men and 1/3 in women are caused by smoking.
Make a donation to the American Cancer Society (see "Resources" below). Even if you can only volunteer a few hours a month or donate a few dollars, it still helps. Your donation can have a 'snowball' effect!
Start a support and education group for bladder cancer patients and their families and loved ones.
Organize a local event, such as a charity walk or auction, to raise money for bladder cancer research while also raising awareness in your community.
Understand Who Is at Risk
Know that bladder cancer is rare in people under the age of 40 and becomes more common among people in their late 60s. Smokers and people who have experienced chronic urinary infections are at greater risk, as are those who have been exposed to benzadine and aromatic amines in the workplace. Caucasians have twice the risk of African-Americans.
Be careful about revealing a cancer patient's status without their permission. While government laws protect cancer patients from workplace discrimination, discretion should still be part of your awareness effort.