Bladder Cancer Awareness Month May 2020

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Throughout the month of May, we observe Bladder Cancer Awareness Month at Métis Nation British Columbia.  During this month, we are raising awareness specific to Bladder Cancer for all Métis people. We know that a cancer diagnosis can be a very trying time for you and your family, and MNBC’s Ministry of Health is committed to helping you through your cancer journey.

The bladder is part of the urinary system (GU). It is a hollow organ in the pelvis that stores urine before it passes out of the body.  Cells in the bladder can sometimes change. These changes may lead to non-cancerous (benign) tumours or conditions such as urinary tract infections (UTIs).  In some cases, though, the changes to the cells may cause bladder cancer.

Bladder cancer is the fifth most common cancer in Canada and the most expensive to treat.   In 2019, it was estimated 11,800 Canadians were to be diagnosed with bladder cancer and of that, 2,500 Canadians lose their battle with the disease (Canadian Cancer Society). 

The signs and symptoms of Bladder cancer may not be noticeable at first, however, they will often appear when the tumour starts to grow.  Signs include blood in the urine, increased urination, pain or a burning sensation during urination, pelvic pain, and low back pain. 

The Canadian Cancer Society recommends several ways you can reduce your chance of developing bladder cancer.  First, if you’re are a smoker, seek help to quit.  Almost every case of bladder cancer has been linked to smoking tobacco. Secondly, avoid exposure to cancer-causing substances (chemicals) at work or in your home.

Bladder Cancer Canada hosts a walk every year to raise awareness.  The next walk is confirmed for Sunday, September 27, 2020, in most communities.  We are encouraging everyone to get out outside, take a walk and breath in the fresh air in support of Bladder Cancer Awareness Month using the hashtags #bladdercancerawareness #MNBCMinistryofHealth. 

Below are some additional resources that we’ve included for you:

https://www.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/cancer-type/bladder/bladder-cancer/?region=bc

https://bladdercancercanada.org/en/

https://www.cancer.net/sites/cancer.net/files/asco_answers_bladder.pdf

http://www.bccancer.bc.ca/

https://www.quitnow.ca/

If you would like more information on bladder cancer or how to prevent it please feel free to email Katina Pollard, Northern Regional Health Coordinator at kpollard@mnbc.ca