20 February 2024 .Singapore

Amit’s bladder cancer journey

Bladder Cancer is the 9th most commonly diagnosed cancer in the world with 614,000 people diagnosed each year. Around the world, the 1.9 million people living with the condition have their own journeys and personal bladder cancer stories to share.

Below we are honoured to share the bladder cancer journey of Amit. Bladder cancer stories are a powerful reminder of the impact of bladder cancer and also help raise awareness of bladder cancer and highlight the urgent need for new treatments and research, improved care and support for those living with bladder cancer.

Amit (Male) lives in Singapore and was diagnosed in 2022 at the age of 46.

Tell us about the symptoms you have experienced and how you dealt with them?

At the beginning, I started noticing changes in my urination patterns, particularly feeling like I hadn’t completely emptied my bladder. It was unsettling, but I initially brushed it off as a minor issue, not realising it could be something more serious.

Tell us about how you received your bladder cancer diagnosis? 

During my annual health checkup, I asked for a prostate test, thinking it might be a good idea given my age. They did a Prostate-Specific Antigen test along with an ultrasound exam. Surprisingly, this led to the discovery of my bladder cancer, something I hadn’t even considered.

Tell us about your feelings and emotions at the time you received your bladder cancer diagnosis? 

I was in utter disbelief when I got the diagnosis. I had no noticeable symptoms that I associated with cancer, so the news hit me hard. I felt shock ripple through me, and a deep concern took hold, fearing this was a death sentence.

Tell us about your experience with bladder cancer treatment? How long did it last? Did you experience side effects? 

My treatment involved 18 months of immunotherapy with Basillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG), complemented by routine cystoscopies and biopsies. The side effects grew more intense over time, including frequent urination, a burning sensation, fever, chills, skin rashes, and even low platelet counts. Despite regular treatments, my urine cytology continued to show atypical cells. Eventually, I was diagnosed with high-grade urothelial carcinoma with Carcinoma In-Situ (CIS). After 21 BCG cycles and facing a high-grade recurrence with prostatic infiltration, I had no choice but to undergo a radical cystectomy with ileal conduit.

Who was the first person you told about your bladder cancer diagnosis?

The first person I confided in was my wife. She’s been my rock through all of this, providing me with incredible strength and support. I don’t know how I would have managed without her by my side.

What life changes have you made since diagnosis? 

I’ve made several significant changes since the diagnosis. I cut out sugar, drastically reduced stress in my life, stopped drinking alcohol, and now I try to focus more on living in the moment, appreciating the present for what it is.

What advice would you give to others who may be newly diagnosed with bladder cancer?

My advice to anyone newly diagnosed is to not go through this alone. Talk to your friends, and join a bladder cancer support group. Sharing your journey can make a significant difference, and you’ll find strength in the support of others who understand what you’re going through.

Have you reached out to other bladder cancer patients or been part of a bladder cancer support group? 

Yes, I’ve connected with others through Facebook. It’s been somewhat challenging to find groups outside the UK, but I’ve managed. It’s clear to me that colorectal cancer gets more attention than bladder cancer, but every connection and piece of shared advice helps.

Read more bladder cancer patient stories from around the world.

Are you or your loved one affected by bladder cancer? Your stories can help others facing a bladder cancer diagnosis and help bring awareness to the disease. Please share your journey and fill in this form. 

If you are looking to learn more about bladder cancer, on our bladder cancer information pages or contact with our member organisations closest to you.

If you have any questions, please get in touch with us at info@worldbladdercancer.org 

Download Bladder Cancer Questionnaire

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