Health. New treatments for bladder cancer

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

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

The presence of blood in the urine should alert

According to Constance Thibault, “The presence of blood in the urine should be taken seriously if there are no symptoms specific to bladder cancer. This should lead to consultation with the attending physician or a urologist who may consider continuing research. “Likewise” urinary burns, 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, removed naturally, then the patient is usually offered additional treatment, which is injected directly into the bladder. There has been little innovation with this type of tumor,” says Dr. Thibault.

“On the other hand, in the case of bladder cancer that infiltrates the bladder muscle and can induce the formation of metastases, many therapeutic advances have occurred in recent years. Previously, if metastases did occur, treatment was based solely on chemotherapy. Today we have new treatments: immunotherapy, targeted therapies, and conjugated antibodies. This All these new treatments are being considered for application at an earlier stage of cancer when the disease is still localized to the bladder, perhaps to increase the chance of recovery. In summary, care has been significantly improved through research, a better understanding of cancer development, and the advent of these new treatments. has evolved. »

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 about risk factors and warning signs of disease. illness by the general public and some health professionals;
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 been launched 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 website www.pactonco.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).