Making Strides Against Bladder Cancer

May is Bladder Cancer Awareness Month.

Bladder cancer is a common type of cancer in the United States. Approximately 81,190 people will be diagnosed with bladder cancer and some 17,000 people are expected to die from the disease in 2018, according to the National Cancer Institute‚Äôs Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program (SEER).

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) explains that there are three types of bladder cancer. These cancers are named for the type of cells that become malignant: transitional cell carcinoma, which begins in cells in the innermost tissue layer of the bladder; squamous cell carcinoma, which begins in the squamous cells, and may form after long-term infection or irritation; and adenocarcinoma, which begins in glandular (secretory) cells that are found in the lining of the bladder.

Cancer that is in the lining of the bladder is called superficial bladder cancer. Cancer that has spread through the lining of the bladder and has invaded the muscle wall of the bladder or has spread to nearby organs and lymph nodes is called invasive bladder cancer.

Risk factors for bladder cancer include tobacco use, having a family history of the disease, exposure to certain chemicals in the workplace, drinking well water with high levels of arsenic, and having a history of bladder infections, according to the NCI.

About three out of four people survived five years or more after being diagnosed with bladder cancer between 2006 and 2012, according to federal statistics.

What the AACR Is Currently Doing in This Area

In May 2019, the AACR will host a conference on the topic of bladder cancer, Bladder Cancer: Transforming the Field, which will gather leaders in the field to discuss topics such as bladder cancer detection, prevention, and multi-disciplinary treatment.

Two of the AACR-Aflac, Inc. Scholar-in-Training Awards went to bladder cancer-focused researchers in 2018: Adam M. Farkas, PhD, of the Tisch Cancer Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, for his study, "Tim-3 and TIGIT mark NK and T cells susceptible to effector dysfunction in human bladder cancer;" and Neelam Mukherjee, PhD, of The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, for her study, "Intratumoral CD56 bright natural killer cells are associated with improved survival in bladder cancer."

The AACR's mission is to prevent and cure all forms of cancer.

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is a 501c3 registered nonprofit organization with offices at 615 Chestnut Street, 17th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19106 | 215.440.9300