Bladder Cancer Support Group in Ottawa

Canadian Cancer Survivor Network’s  Mona Forrest visited the Bladder Cancer Support Group in Ottawa November 28 at the invitation of Support Group Coordinator Snookie Lomow.

The group, about 20 people, meets the last Thursday of every month and is composed of Bladder Cancer Survivors, those in treatment, those waiting to determine what type of surgery they will choose and those newly diagnosed. The group members spoke about their type of treatment, length of time they have been well, and any complications.

Mona gave a short history of the CCSN and described the CCSN Public Policy Program and then current issues in public policy affecting cancer patients and survivors. The group was particularly interested in the moves being taken by the U.S. to purchase drugs from wholesalers in Canada, and that individuals are also arriving by the busload from the U.S. to Canadian border towns, mainly to purchase diabetes medications and devices. The group will be writing to their political representatives to express opposition to this practice.

The Bladder Cancer Support Group agenda for the near future includes creating a document to help Bladder Cancer Patients deal with post op and will soon start planning their Ottawa Bladder Cancer Walk.

Some statistics about bladder cancer: 

 Each year, approximately 9,000 Canadians are diagnosed with bladder cancer, making it the 5th most common cancer in the country, yet it ranks 19th in terms of research funding. Bladder Cancer Canada is working hard to change this disparity.

BCC relies on the September Bladder Cancer awareness walks for 60% of their annual funding—this year, they raised close to $600,000 which helps fund patient support and education programs, the new ‘See Red’ awareness campaign, and critical bladder cancer research. BCC currently serves 6,000 people living with bladder cancer, yet there are 80,000 Canadians facing bladder cancer today. It’s BCC’s goal to reach and support thousands more through their diagnosis, treatment, and recovery.