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Veterans' Day Reminder from Men's Health Network: Pay Attention to Bladder Cancer Symptoms and Risk Factors

Men’s Health Network (MHN) urges military veterans to learn about their health risks, especially those linked to exposure to chemicals, atomic agents and soot or smoke from military service. Bladder cancer is one of those cancers that is two times more prevalent in veterans, especially those who once smoked or currently smoke cigarettes.

Washington DC (PRWEB) November 8, 2009 -- Men’s Health Network (MHN) kicked-off their Veteran’s Day efforts with the “The 2nd Annual Timeout for Veteran’s Health Screening and Education Event” on Saturday, Nov. 7 in the Washington Redskins players locker room with free comprehensive health screenings and information for veterans. MHN urges all Americans to recognize our veterans and help ensure that they are getting access to health information and care that they need to live long and healthy lives.

The Veterans Health Council (VHC) was established last May to improve veterans’ health through information and advocacy. More than 50 organizations including Men’s Health Network are participating. VHC reports the information challenge is reaching the veterans when “at least 80 percent of vets do not use the VA (medical centers) as their healthcare provider and only some 25 percent are members of veterans service organizations.”

“We are proud to be an active partner in the Veterans Health Council as we continue to address the growing health needs of those who have so dutifully and sacrificially served our country,” shared Scott Williams, VP for Men’s Health Network. Twitter us at

In July, Richard Curry reported on the Vietnam Veterans of America website that “These vets were developing diabetes, Hodgkin’s disease, and more than 30 varieties of cancer, yet they remained unaware that their illnesses were related to military service, and that treatment as well as disability benefits were available to them through the VA.” VHC ( is working to “ensure that veterans get proper service-related diagnoses in a timely manner, and are fully appraised of their options for care and compensation.”

Bladder cancer is the newest addition to a list of health risks facing military veterans. National Institute for Health reports the prevalence rate of bladder cancer among veterans is increasing. Bladder cancer has long been recognized as a leading occupational cancer because of workplace exposure to toxins. Giora Katz, M.D, urologist, reported in 2006, “A multi-center study of a NMP22 point-of-care test for bladder cancer diagnosis found the veterans’ hospitals represented 9% of the sites in the study, but accounted for 16% of the cancers. All patients presented with the same symptoms (hematuria – blood in the urine, or painful or frequent urination), but the percentage of those diagnosed with bladder cancer at the veterans’ hospitals was 11.1%, compared to 5.7% at the community and academic practices. In addition, most of the malignancies at VA hospitals were already in an early invasive stage, compared to the other sites where the most common stage was noninvasive.”

Bladder Cancer is often referred to as one of the costliest cancers in part due to the high recurrence rate of this cancer. Today, more than a half million people have had or are living with bladder cancer. According to government data, bladder cancer annual costs are almost $3 billion compared to $1.5 billion spent on prostate cancer. Consider these bladder cancer facts: Smoking is the major risk factor followed by workplace exposure to chemicals and combustible gases. Other risk factors include, atomic site exposure, arsenic in drinking water, chemotherapy or radiation, family history, as well as, a medical history of gonorrhea. Veterans as a group have a higher incidence of smoking; an estimated 40 percent of veterans ages 65 year and older are smokers.

Download the Men’s Health Network “Veterans and Bladder Cancer Fact Sheet” at within its online library. Health professionals can review bladder cancer medical studies and a recent webinar specifically addressing Veterans and Bladder cancer at the


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