Stephen Head, Senior Director of Patient Associations at Astellas, and Susan Mullerworth, a bladder cancer patient.
Even though that him bladder cancer it is the fifth most common cancer in Europe, where around 150,000 new cases are diagnosed each year, there is widespread misinformation about it at the social level. In fact, this little knowledge has a “considerable” impact on the mental health of patients and caregivers. “Lack of awareness of bladder cancer has been linked to impaired mental health, which in turn has a side effect in the prognosis”, highlighted Stephen Headsenior director of patient associations of Astellasduring the presentation of the new report prepared by the company.
According to the study ‘Tackling bladder cancer’, 32 percent of the population is unaware of this cancer and, in addition, blames the patients for suffering from this condition. In this sense, a third of those surveyed recognize that both their family and their friends they hardly show empathy towards them because, in general, they believe they could have prevented it. However, the company has pointed out at this point that, although the tobacco it is a risk factor and can be restricted, it is not the main cause among those affected.
Still, the report concludes that bladder cancer patients “feel disadvantaged,” as they have a feeling of self-stigma towards his illness, due to the shame Y self blame that they themselves suffer. Some emotions that, as they have warned, can also lead to depression Y anxietyespecially among younger patients, who suffer from these disorders more intensely and have a worse image of themselves.
“If we want to improve outcomes for those affected, efforts to increase education and provide resources to support affected communities”, defended Stephen Head, while insisting that the objective of this study is “an urgent change to support patients and their carers during the disease”.
To this end, it has demanded the adoption of more efficient strategies in the medical care for a early diagnostic, as well as improve communications between health professionals and, consequently, improve patient outcomes. Likewise, he has asked to promote a greater understanding and empathy towards affected people and recognize the needs of carers so that they do not feel neglected. “It is essential,” she insisted.
Bladder cancer: one of the ten most diagnosed
To obtain these results, Astellas has interviewed over 300 patients and caregivers from the United States and Europe (France, United Kingdom, Germany and Spain) and has determined that mental health is “a significant additional problem to the disease” both for the patient and for their environment. Specifically, for the last group the loneliness and the resentment they are a “deep problem” as more than 35 percent share these perceptions.
Likewise, those surveyed have confessed that bladder cancer impacts their daily lives. Specifically, 77 percent of patients who have undergone operating room has detailed that there are days that they have to stay at home for the inconvenience who suffer as a result of the operation and almost all of their caregivers have supported that there are certain activities that they no longer carry out (92 percent).
“Bladder cancer does not receive the attention it deserves despite being one of the ten most diagnosed cancers,” he detailed. alex filicevasexecutive director of the World Coalition of Bladder Cancer Patients, who has encouraged “join forces” to Improve Life Quality of both patients and their carers after this report has shown that the impact on the emotional well-being is “considerable”.
For this reason, the role played by the environment has been valued, with special emphasis on those closest to us. In this way, the study underlines that friends, the group of patients with the same disease and the medical professionals who treat them are the three essential pillars from diagnosis. Thus, they emphasize that mental health affects the evolution of bladder cancer, showing that those who suffer from anxiety or depression have a lower survival rate.
It is for this reason that more than half of patients want to have the opportunity to talk with other patients and 72 percent of caregivers demand a increased psychological support by friends to face this disease with positivism.
An aspect that the British patient has also shared susan mullerworthwho has lamented his initial ignorance when he was diagnosed with bladder cancer and has therefore asked more references about this disease: “You have to be really proactive in finding information.
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