A 40-year wait: Putting bladder cancer back on the agenda

A 40-year wait: Putting bladder cancer back on the agenda

19 January 1981

John Lennon’s Imagine was number one.

Ronald Regan was preparing for his inauguration as the 40th president of the USA.

The first DeLoreans were rolling off the production line.

And in Westminster, an adjournment debate was held on Benzidine-Based Dyes.

Why should anyone care about an obscure debate taking place just before midnight on a inconsequential Monday in 1981, you ask? Because this was the last time that bladder cancer was the focus of a debate in the UK Parliament.

Let me say that again.

Bladder cancer was last debated in parliament over 40 years ago.

Bladder cancer is not a rare disease – over 20,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with bladder cancer each year. But you wouldn’t know it from the attention it has received among policy makers.

And this is reflected in patient outcomes. Survival rates for patients with bladder cancer have barely changed over the last three decades.

That is why OVID Health is proud to be working with Fight Bladder Cancer, to put this disease back on the parliamentary agenda.

In 2021, Fight Bladder Cancer published the Exemplar Research Report, outlining what an ideal service would look like for patients with bladder cancer. Standardised pathways for bladder cancer diagnosis and referral must be developed, so that patients receive high-quality care right across the UK. More Clinical Nurse Specialists must be trained, to deliver this holistic high-quality care. And patients, carers and families must be supported to make informed choices about their care.

The challenge now is to get those solutions implemented.

Throughout 2022, we will be working alongside Fight Bladder Cancer to train a group of dedicated patient advocates with the aim of building a network of supporters in parliaments across the UK nations. By building this network of support, Fight Bladder Cancer can secure meaningful improvements in the experiences of people living with bladder cancer.

We won’t wait another 40 years.