18 May 2022 .Brussels , Belgium

Real bladder cancer patient stories illustrate their journey

Bladder Cancer is the 10th most commonly diagnosed cancer in the world with 570,000 people diagnosed each year. Around the world, the 1.7 million people living with the condition have their own journeys and personal bladder cancer stories to share.

This year the World Bladder Cancer Patient Coalition (WBCPC) wants to spark conversations that drive awareness around bladder cancer by honing in on bladder cancer symptoms, such as blood in the urine, and the challenges they bring during Bladder Cancer Awareness Month. Early diagnosis and seeking medical advice and care without delay can increase the long-term survival. If caught in its early stages – the 5-year survival rate for bladder cancer can be up to 90%.

Below we are honoured to bring to you two real patient stories where they share their different personal journeys. These stories are a powerful reminder of the impact of bladder cancer. Bladder cancer patient stories 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.

Bladder cancer stories

Carlie (Female) lives in the United Kingdom and was diagnosed in 2021 at the age of 38.

I was diagnosed with bladder cancer when I was 38. I had been experiencing urgency and blood in my urine for 10 months. I’m a mum of two young boys and being told I had cancer was devastating. I was alone when I was told I had cancer due to covid restrictions. I was unable to have any face to face appointments prior to my diagnosis. I had a cystoscopy and was told there and then it was cancer.

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

Be kind to yourself. However, you feel is OK. None of us knows how we will feel when we are told we have cancer. The support I had from my family and friends kept me going, I’ll be forever grateful for that.

Joe(male) lives in Canada and was diagnosed in 2020 at the age of 50.

Receiving the diagnosis was a very scary experience for me. I had no signs or symptoms of bladder cancer, to begin with. In December 2020, I went to the hospital because of a kidney stone and got diagnosed with bladder cancer, as they found a tumour. The tumour was muscle-invasive at this time, so the doctor started me on Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) treatment. After my first round of BCG, they had to remove two more tumours, and I then had a second round of BCG during the summer of 2021. In November 2021, I had a cystoscopy that was clear, and I had some maintenance BCG in February 2022. Just in April of the same year, I had a second clear cystoscopy. I have been in really good health since the diagnosis, nothing has changed there, and I will just keep battling.

I had no signs or symptoms of bladder cancer, so needless to say it caught everyone off-guard. It was also very surprising to get the diagnosis because of no symptoms. The only reason why they found my tumour when they did was because of the CT scan for my kidney stone.

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

As a family, we all stayed very positive, and I am so grateful for all the support they have given me. So I advise you to stay positive, have a good diet, and exercise. That has helped me during my bladder cancer journey.

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 


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