Five years ago, when Andrew Winterbottom was diagnosed with an aggressive stage four bladder cancer, there was not a single charity or national support organisation for people affected by bladder cancer in the UK. Having found out how that bladder cancer is the 7th most common cancer in the UK, Andrew decided that there was an urgent need to change this situation. This desire resulted in the setting up of a charity and a confidential support forum for anyone affected by bladder cancer. The forum now has over 800 members and the Twitter feed has over 1,400 followers. Fight Bladder Cancer also runs a Cancer Buddy service and has started to set up local groups around the country.
Over 10,000 people are diagnosed with bladder cancer every year in the UK - over 5,000 will not survive it. Although it is the seventh most common cancer in the UK, it is rarely mentioned and treatments have barely changed in 30 years.
Bladder cancer is the most expensive cancer to treat due to the very high recurrence rate, but it receives just 0.6 per cent of research spend. It is the only top 10 cancer where the prognosis is getting worse.
Despite all this, there was not a single charity to support people affected by bladder cancer or to help raise awareness. Hence the need for Fight Bladder Cancer, set up and run by people effected personally by the disease.
Fight Bladder Cancer has just four objectives in its constitution. The first was the provision of support to bladder cancer patients, their families and caregivers. The second was the provision of information on bladder cancer, its symptoms, range, treatments and aftercare needs.
The third objective was to promote awareness campaigns regarding the causes, symptoms, treatments and aftercare to the public and within the medical profession. The final objective was the provision of support and funding for research into the nature, causes, diagnosis, prevention, treatment and cure of bladder cancer.
Back to the top