4 February 2024 .Brussels , Belgium

Close the Care Gap – opportunities to improve bladder cancer care

World Cancer Day is an opportunity to bring attention to bladder cancer and experiences of the people affected by it with a call to close the care gap. Over 500,000 people are diagnosed with bladder cancer around the world annually. This World Cancer Day, the World Bladder Cancer Patient Coalition is proud to join the international cancer community efforts. Jointly, we advocate for greater access to care for marginalised populations and closing the gap in cancer care worldwide.

World Cancer Day takes place every year on February 4. It is the uniting global initiative under which the world comes together to raise the profile of cancer in a positive and inspiring way. Spearheaded bythe Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), of which WBCPC is a full member, the World Cancer Day aims to save millions of lives each year by raising awareness and improving education about the disease while calling for action from governments and individuals across the world.

WBCPC Global Bladder Cancer Patient & Carer Survey gathered responses from 1,198 participants across 45 countries. Findings show that bladder cancer awareness remains low and revealed notable gaps in patient experiences with their care.

  1. Health Equity and Access to Cancer Care: Individuals living in rural areas were 67% more likely than those in urban areas to have visited a family doctor 5 or more times before receiving a correct bladder cancer diagnosis (15% vs 9%) This reflects the heightened barriers to prompt and effective healthcare access faced by rural populations. The importance of global efforts to standardise care to ensure all patients have equitable access to necessary services where they live is evident.
  2. Impact of Cancer on Quality of Life: 45% of patients were not counselled before radical cystectomy (surgery to remove the bladder) on sexual side effects of the treatment, which may lead to a decline in patients quality of life. This highlights the necessity for comprehensive care approaches addressing both physical and emotional well-being of bladder cancer patients.
  3. Importance of Early Detection and Prevention: 57% of patients were diagnosed with another condition before bladder cancer, the most common being a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). This shows that early detection significantly impacts treatment outcomes, yet access to information and screening programs varies widely, pointing to a need for widespread education and screening initiatives.
  4. Patient-Centered Care and Support: 58% of patients did not receive enough emotional support to cope with their diagnosis. This shows there’s a gap in how we support patients emotionally and empower them with information about their treatment and care. We need to do better at equipping patients with adequate and accessible information, and actively involving bladder cancer patients in planning of their care.
  5. Global and Local Initiatives to Close the Care Gap: The Survey Report identifies impactful initiatives and calls for increased collaboration between organisations, healthcare providers, and governments to implement solutions that address the identified gaps in care and support for bladder cancer patients globally.

Explore the above findings in more detail, and see the full findings report by downloading the Global Bladder Cancer Patient & Carer Survey Report below.

There is a need to continue the conversation and raise awareness around bladder cancer. Informed and empowered patients can demand better care, alongside strong bladder cancer patient groups there to provide support and information.

The Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) has published 2024 Equity Report, which provides insights into the realities in cancer care across the world.

You can find more information about World Cancer Day here.

Download Survey Findings

Related News & Events