Bladder cancer: urinary bleeding, we consider them – A la une

12 May 2022

May is dedicated to Bladder Cancer Awareness Month. An opportunity to talk about a little-known tumor for which new therapeutic developments are available, especially in advanced forms. Dr., a medical oncologist specializing in genitourinary cancers at the European Georges Pompidou Hospital in Paris. Comments by Constance Thibault.

What is bladder cancer?

About 12,000 cases of bladder cancer are diagnosed each year in France. It is the most common genitourinary cancer after prostate cancer. Finally, it is 4 times more common in men.

Tobacco, risk factor n°1

The first risk factor is exposure to tobacco. Dr. Constance Thibault explains. ” However, it is relatively unknown because tobacco is often associated with cardiovascular risk and lung cancer. But tobacco exposure also clearly increases the risk of bladder cancer. There are other risk factors associated with exposure to certain carcinogens. This applies, for example, to products contained in certain coloring and dyeing rubbers. Some occupations also offer representations. »

The presence of blood in the urine should alert

Dr. According to Constance Thibault, “ If there are no symptoms specific to bladder cancer, the presence of blood in the urine should be taken seriously. This should lead to consultation with the attending physician or a urologist who may consider continuing research. “Same way” burning on urination, the urge to urinate more often, or urgent needs. Of course, these symptoms may also be linked to a urinary tract infection, for example, but in any case they should be investigated. »

Advances in care

Management depends on the type of bladder cancer. ” If the tumor is said to be superficial, it is removed naturally, after which the patient is offered a complementary treatment, which is usually injected directly into the bladder. There has been little innovation in this tumor type. says Dr. thibault ” On the other hand, in the case of bladder cancer that infiltrates the bladder muscle and can induce metastasis, many therapeutic advances have emerged in recent years. Previously, treatment was based solely on chemotherapy if metastases did occur. Today we have new treatments: immunotherapy, targeted therapies and conjugated antibodies. These treatments have increased the life expectancy of patients. All these new treatments are being considered for use at an earlier stage of the cancer when the disease is still localized to the bladder, perhaps to increase the chance of cure. In summary, care has improved significantly thanks to research, a better understanding of cancer development, and the advent of these new treatments. »

How can we better support patients?

A telephone survey of 15 healthcare professionals, 10 patients and 5 caregivers in France, with institutional support from the Merck-Pfizer Alliance, highlighted various needs at different stages of the care pathway:

  • lack of knowledge by the general public and some health professionals about the risk factors and warning signs of the disease;
  • difficulties with advertising consulting;
  • lack of psychological support for patients and caregivers;
  • Lack of information provided about the disease and supportive care.

Many initiatives have emerged to meet the support needs of patients, such as the production of the “Locally advanced or metastatic bladder cancer” and “Non-muscle-infiltrating bladder cancer” booklets offered by Alliance Merck-Pfizer. You can download them from the websites www.pactonco.fr and www.merck.fr. You will find verified information about the disease, its management, as well as actors working with patients and caregivers such as Association Cancer Bladder France les Zuros, www.leszuros.fr.

Making the patient’s voice heard

The “Patients without a Voice” collective, a multidisciplinary working group of experts, patients, caregivers and associations, aims to support patients with rare, under-known or under-represented diseases. Supported by the Merck-Pfizer Alliance since 2018, this collective has prepared 3 booklets aimed at making the voices of these patients heard. On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Kouchner Act linked to patients’ rights, the group filed an appeal ” Launching a massive survey to profile and aspirations of hundreds of thousands of patients who find no response to their word You can download them from the websites www.pfizer.fr and www.merck.fr.

  • Source : Bladder cancers: highlights – Bladder cancer (e-cancer.fr) accessed on INCa website on April 14, 2022 – Bladder cancers: highlights – Bladder cancer (e-cancer.fr) accessed on INCa website on April 14, 2022 – https://www.vidal.fr/ Maladies/cancers/cancer-vessie.html – Accessed on the Vidal website on April 11, 2022

  • Written by: Emmanuel Ducreuzet – Edited by Vincent Roche