American Bladder Cancer Society Recognizes National Bladder Cancer Awareness Day – July 17

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American Bladder Cancer Society (ABLCS)applauds Congress’ Approval of Florida Congressman Tom Rooney’s Resolution Designating Bladder Cancer Awareness Day -- July 17. Through its website, Twitter and Facebook, the ABLCS unites a community of people of all ages who are confronted with bladder cancer's harsh emotional and medical realities. Recognizing the power of social networking, the organization built an online home and portal for information directed to people with bladder cancer, survivors and those who care about them. Chat rooms, blogging and online messaging are offered, allowing users to interact in a safe anonymous setting.

The efforts of Congressman Tom Rooney (FL) to get July 17th designated National Bladder Cancer Awareness Day was hailed by the American Bladder Cancer Society (ABLCS) board of directors at its July meeting. “We are very pleased and feel that this is a huge step forward in raising awareness of bladder cancer that has been often overlooked and underserved. For the more than a half million people in the U.S. surviving or living with bladder cancer, Congressman Rooney and Congress have given bladder cancer advocates a forum to amplify the conversation.” said Cynthia Kinsella, President and CEO of the American Bladder Cancer Society and bladder cancer survivor.

The American Bladder Cancer Society is reaching out through its website, Facebook and Twitter (http://www.bladdercancersupport.org) to help advocates spread the word in their communities about bladder cancer warning signs and risks.

Women and firefighters are particularly urged to know their risks and check the signs for bladder cancer. As many women are diagnosed with bladder cancer as cervical cancer; and as many women die of bladder cancer as cervical cancer. Firefighters are an occupational group that is twice as likely to have bladder cancer than the rest of the population.

The organization is also working to gain support for research to address quality of life issues, early diagnosis, and a cure for this cancer that has the highest rate of recurrence of any cancer.

Through its website, the ABLCS unites a community of people of all ages who are confronted with bladder cancer's harsh emotional and medical realities. Recognizing the power of social networking, the organization built an online home and portal for information directed to people with bladder cancer, survivors and those who care about them. Chat rooms, blogging and online messaging are offered, allowing users to interact in a safe anonymous setting.

Sailorman [a screen name to protect privacy] one of the online community members posted, "As a middle aged non-smoking male, I was told I was fifteen years too early to have this (bladder cancer).” He felt isolated because unlike some other cancers, there was not a well-publicized population of survivors.

Sailorman also said, “This site gave me a chance to read about the experiences of other people with my problem and ask questions as I needed to. The ability to interact with other cancer warriors has definitely helped me deal with my illness and the complications that it can bring."

More than 2,000 people are registered users of the community site, sharing intimate and powerful conversations - talking of losing sexuality, body image, health, and being under constant stress. The members teach each other how to cope, and sometimes how to deal with death and dying.

The American Bladder Cancer Society was founded in 2008 by a group of survivors, caregivers, and physicians. The ABLCS is a 501(c) (3) corporation dedicated to bladder cancer advocacy, awareness and survivor support; anyone interested in more information is invited to visit the ABLCS website at http://www.bladdercancersupport.org or contact Cynthia Kinsella, President, American Bladder Cancer Society at 413-684-4240.

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Karen Roberts
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