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Veterans' Day Reminder from Men's Health Network: Pay Attention to Bladder Cancer Symptoms and Risk Factors
Date:11/8/2009

re 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 (http://www.veteranshealth.org) 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 a
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