Urology Week 2023: breaking taboo and raising incontinence awareness
Urology Week is a European initiative run by the European Association of Urology (EAU) and will take place from 24-30 September 2023 and aims to raise awareness about incontinence challenges and break the taboo around talking about incontinence.
Worldwide, over 570,000 people are diagnosed with bladder cancer. In Europe, the disease affects around 200,000 people each year, making it the fifth most commonly diagnosed cancer.
Urinary incontinence impacts people affected by bladder cancer. Troublesome urinary symptoms such as burning and irritation when peeing or incontinence issues after treatment are common side-effects. Cancer patients describe bladder incontinence as:
- Accidental urine leakage that sometimes can dampen underwear or might be severe enough to saturate clothes
- Having a sense of urgency or being unable to “hold urine”
- Frequent urination
- Pain or discomfort when urinating
In the findings of our Global Bladder Cancer Patient & Carer Experience Survey, we found that 91% of survey respondents experienced signs and symptoms of bladder cancer. In particular, 40% needed to urinate more often than usual, 24% felt pain or burning during urination and 27% had to get up several times during the night to urinate.
Urinary incontinence can manifest due to bladder cancer tumours or structural changes to the urethra. Oftentimes this symptom is overlooked due to the prevalence of urinary symptoms in the aging population, which overlaps with the demographic of patients that are most commonly diagnosed with bladder cancer. For this reason, it is important that changes in urinary habits are fully examined by healthcare professionals.
We invite you to reach out to your community and initiate the conversation about bladder cancer and urological health. Find some easy ways for you to get involved here.