Bladder Cancer Support
Bladder Cancer Support
Bela Denes (Urologist) gives expert video advice on: How can I help a loved one cope with bladder cancer?; Where can I go for information on support for bladder cancer patients? and more...
How will the diagnosis of bladder cancer affect my spouse or loved one?
Generally, the news or diagnoses of cancer, when it's given to a family member, is one of those devastating events that you would rather avoid, as it is a life changing event. With bladder cancer, first you have to deal with the fact that it's a cancer. It is malignant. It's potentially lethal. It needs careful conscientious and long-term follow up. It's a long-term commitment. Most patients, once they've had bladder cancer and understand the treatment, understand the recurrence that may be anticipated, and the possibility of progression, generally do accept it and do very well. That doesn't mean they like coming in every three months for an examination, or every week for six weeks for some a bladder treatment. however, they do accept it and generally have a good lifestyle. It's a different challenge for patients who have to have more radical treatments or have to undergo cystectomy with removal of the bladder. Those challenges deal with either having to wear an external collection device, an ostomy or a bag, having to learn how to urinate again. Both men and women who undergo these more radical procedures undergo sexual disfunction, which can also be very disruptive to some relationships.
How long does it take for a person to emotionally overcome a diagnosis of cancer?
That is different for everyone. It's certainly different between different socio-economic groups - different culture groups, different nationalities and national backgrounds. I have heard somebody say that the Italians never get over it and the Germans never accept it, so without categorizing anybody, I'd say that's involved with so many of the personal, interpersonal, family, and cultural dynamics that there is no set answer for that.
Where can I go for information on support for bladder cancer patients?
A great place for patients and their families who are working through bladder cancer and want more information on bladder cancer, would be to to visit the AUA website. The AUA is the American Urologic Association, and they have a very extensive website that will direct you into other local or regional support groups. Additionally, there is a lot of information on bladder cancer that's available on that site, including the newly updated AUA guidelines for the treatment of bladder cancer, specifically superficial non muscle invasive bladder cancer.