Congressman Matt Cartwright

Representing the 17th District of Pennsylvania
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Congressman Cartwright Introduces Legislation to Designate May as National Bladder Cancer Awareness Month

May 19, 2015
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright introduced a bipartisan resolution to designate the month of May as National Bladder Cancer Awareness Month

The American Cancer Society estimates that nearly 75,000 people will be diagnosed with bladder cancer this year and more than 16,000 will die from the disease.

“Despite being the fifth most commonly diagnosed type of cancer in the United States, bladder cancer ranks a distant 27th on the list of cancers for which the government funds research,” said Rep. Cartwright.  “Unfortunately, public awareness of the disease, in addition to federal research, is woefully inadequate.  That’s why I am committed to work with my colleagues to raise awareness of this disease.”

Bladder cancer remains one of the most expensive cancers to treat on a per-patient basis, costing the nation an estimated $4 billion each year. 

“We are grateful to Rep. Cartwright for his leadership on this issue.  Bladder cancer is the sixth most common cancer in the U.S. yet it is largely overlooked in the public.  We hope that the establishment of Bladder Cancer Awareness Month with be the first step towards empowering the public with information,” said Monica Smith, Executive Director of the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network, celebrating their 10th year of raising awareness for bladder cancer.

When diagnosed and treated early, bladder cancer has a relative 5-year survival rate of 88 percent.  However, if diagnosis and treatment are delayed, the 5-year survival rate can drop to as low as 15 percent, making early detection absolutely vital to a patient’s prognosis.  Unfortunately, public awareness about bladder cancer remains alarmingly low.

"We strongly support efforts to increase awareness of bladder cancer.  Bladder cancer is fourth among the most common cancers diagnosed in men but does not receive as much attention as many other cancers.  It is critically important that men and women understand the symptoms, risk factors, diagnosis and treatment of this disease,” said Brandon Leonard, Director of Strategic Initiatives for the Men's Health Network.

The Veterans Health Council of Vietnam Veterans of America also voiced their support, "Bladder cancer is one the leading causes of death amongst America's Vietnam veterans and so we strongly support Representative Cartwright's resolution for Bladder Cancer Awareness Month.”

The following organizations have endorsed the legislation:  American Cancer Society, Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network, American Urological Association, Veterans Health Council, Vietnam Veterans of America, Men's Health Network, Society for Women's Health Research, Malecare Cancer Support, National LGBT Cancer Project - Out With Cancer, and Peyronie’s Disease Advocates