8 March 2024 .Rome , Italy

Sharing 5 unique stories of women with bladder cancer

This International Women’s Day, we are proud to share a meaningful initiative illuminating the experiences of women affected by bladder cancer. Our new campaign follows five women in five different corners of the world who share their very personal experiences with bladder cancer.

One in four bladder cancer patients are women, yet their stories often go unheard. Women face numerous challenges throughout their entire care journey. Alarmingly, their symptoms are frequently attributed to other causes, resulting in delayed referral to a specialist and a definitive bladder cancer diagnosis.

The Global Bladder Cancer Patient & Carer Survey conducted by the World Bladder Cancer Patient Coalition revealed distinct areas where women experience disadvantages. 31% of women reported that their symptoms were not taken seriously during their initial doctor visits. Furthermore, women are more likely to be diagnosed with another condition first (69%) and twice as likely to be misdiagnosed with a urinary tract infection (UTI) compared to men.

Through these personal stories, we aim to shed light on the unique challenges women affected by bladder cancer face, whose stories often remain unheard. They share their stories to inspire others, create a community and advocate for better healthcare outcomes and support for women with bladder cancer around the world.

«The loss of hair, the loss even of identity as a woman, even in terms of femininity, you feel somewhat deprived of your identity.

Claudia, Bladder Cancer Patient

The first video of the five-part series launched today features Claudia. An inspiring 46-year-old mother from Rome, Italy, first received a diagnosis of upper tract urothelial cancer, which later developed into urothelial carcinoma, or bladder cancer. During the bladder removal surgery, a new bladder, commonly called a neobladder, was created from the small intestine to collect the urine inside the body and allow it to exit through the urethra.

Claudia shares her experience as a woman, a wife and a mother of two who found strength in her family, her friends and the bladder cancer patient support community.

By sharing Claudia’s story of hope, we highlight the wider challenges women face with bladder cancer. This effort seeks to support and empower women facing bladder cancer, especially as we observe International Women’s Day today.

Together, we are advocating for increased awareness and action on issues women encounter when faced with a bladder cancer diagnosis and fostering a world where every woman’s health journey is acknowledged and supported.

We invite you to learn more about our “5 women, 5 experiences” campaign here.

If you want to learn more about bladder cancer, visit our bladder cancer information pages or contact our member organisations closest to you.

Download WBCPC Patient Survey - Executive Summary

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