The ‘Bladder cancer: know it, control it, treat it’ awareness campaign, promoted by Merck Italia in collaboration with Aps Associazione Paliniuro (Patients free from urothelial neoplasms), Women’s Health and Men’s Health, starts today and will last 3 months. The initiative – explains a joint note – is aimed at the three figures most involved in this process: patients, pathology specialists (urologist and oncologist) and nurses. Often underestimated due to the absence of specific symptoms at the onset such as to allow early diagnosis, bladder cancer, which often corresponds to urothelial carcinoma, sometimes has limited therapeutic options for specific categories of patient.
“In Italy every year there are about 30 thousand new cases of bladder cancer – says Cinzia Ortega, Soc director of Oncology Asl Cn2 Alba-Bra, Michele and Pietro Ferrero Hospital in Verduno – Among the predisposing factors: cigarette smoke with irritating and carcinogen on the bladder mucosa and exposure to toxic chemicals of industrial origin such as dyes and solvents. The symptoms are often vague. Even hematuria, or the appearance of blood in the urine, can manifest itself discontinuously, but when it occurs it is a sign that should be reported immediately to the family doctor in order to arrange tests and to be able to make an early diagnosis. It is in fact important to promptly recognize a possible bladder tumor to increase the chances of treatment. Today there are various therapeutic options available to offer to the patient, but all decisions must be taken in a multidisciplinary environment.Even for advanced or metastatic disease – underlines Ortega – we have therapies that can increase life expectancy. The important thing is to define therapeutic strategies integrated with therapies in combination or in sequence, which take into account the type of patient and his/her disease progression”.
Dealing with an oncological diagnosis is never trivial from a therapeutic point of view, but also from a psychological point of view: for this reason it is important to work on the knowledge of the pathology and the sharing of experiences, to help the patient along his path. In this regard, the campaign offers numerous and diversified narrative resources: 3 motion-graphic mini-stories to turn the spotlight on the importance of recognizing the 3 main symptoms (haematuria, frequent urination, burning during urination); 3 ‘3’ interviews – patient, specialist and nurse – who will tell the experience of the diagnosis and the patient’s encounter with the disease, in a close question and answer. The messages of the campaign will be conveyed on the Facebook pages of the partner associations of the project.
“For a company like ours, which likes to call itself ‘In love with care – says Iris Buttinoni, Head of Communication at Merck Italia – taking care of patients and those who take care of them means responding to all unsatisfied needs: not only therapeutic needs, but also health education needs. We want to respond to these information needs by always experimenting with new languages and channels, also in collaboration with associations that have always been attentive to the dissemination and awareness of diseases, which can help us reach wider audiences “.
“Through the ‘Bladder cancer: know it, check it, treat it’ campaign – concludes Buttinoni – we want to promote greater attention to this oncological disease, favoring the recognition of symptoms and early diagnosis, and thus making a real difference in people’s lives” .
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