From the Urology Care Foundation President: The Bladder Matters: Supporting Researchers and Patients during National Bladder Health Month
By: Harris M. Nagler, MD, FACS | Posted on: 01 Nov 2021
November is National Bladder Health Month, a time of year when the Urology Care Foundation places a special emphasis on raising awareness about bladder conditions and encourages individuals to take an active role in managing their bladder health.
Each day, millions of men, women and children struggle with the impacts of bladder conditions and disease including issues of urinary storage, pain, infections and cancer. These conditions have a significant impact on an individual’s health and quality of life, and result in substantial health costs (estimated to be more than $70 billion per year). Additionally, these heavily stigmatized ailments have been linked to depression, decreased physical activity and hospitalizations related directly or indirectly to bladder disease. It is vitally important we create an environment where patients are knowledgeable and can discuss these serious conditions without shame. We must invest in the research needed to better understand and treat the bladder conditions plaguing so many individuals.
Bladder Health Research
The Foundation is a driving force in the discovery of new treatments, because we are committed to funding and advancing research through the generous support of donors like you. Since 1975, we have invested more than $34 million in nearly 900 of the brightest minds, each determined to discover the next advancement or cure for the many bladder health conditions people struggle with on a daily basis.
Dr. Lenore Ackerman was recently recognized as our 2021 Rising Star in Urology Research Award recipient. A talented surgeon scientist, she focuses her talent and passion on examining urinary bacterial and fungal communities in different types of voiding dysfunction to identify patterns in the urobiome associated with specific lower urinary tract symptoms. Her studies will include an exploration of the co-occurring patterns of urinary inflammation, as well as an investigation of human genes that may confer an increased risk of disease. It will also help to explore the molecular mechanisms underlying different forms of voiding dysfunction to aid in the future development of new management and therapeutic approaches. Congratulations again, Dr. Ackerman.
Bladder Health Awareness
Increasing awareness of bladder health conditions is a critical step to reducing stigma and empowering individuals to discuss their bladder health symptoms with their providers. Recognized by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as the sponsor of this National Health Observance, the Urology Care Foundation has developed a resource center of information for the public and is utilizing weekly themes to connect with, educate and inspire women and men throughout the world to get the facts, get diagnosed and take control of their bladder health.
The Foundation will also host its 4th annual Bladder Health Month Day of Thanks on November 18. This day not only provides outreach and awareness to the public about bladder health conditions, but also allows us to thank individuals like yourself who work daily to improve the quality of life of patients living with bladder health conditions.
Last month the Foundation also took part in the 9th annual AUA/Urology Care Foundation Bladder Health Alliance Roundtable program. Participants representing patients, physicians and research advocacy organizations took part in this premier event to focus on bladder health and research coordination opportunities among NIH agencies, approaches to overcoming adversity, dealing with the emotional impact of diagnosis, informed decision making, COVID-19 and several additional topics.
Bladder Health Patient Education
Educating patients is fundamental to our mission. To support participation in Bladder Health Month, a number of downloadable resources—including fact sheets, posters, social media messages and patient brochures—are now available at the Urology Care Foundation Bladder Health Month Resource Center. Our library of educational resources is based on the AUA’s clinical guidelines and is offered in eight languages. Bladder health educational resources include:
- Bladder Cancer Patient Guides
- Overactive Bladder Assessment Tool
- Overactive Bladder Diary
- Incontinence Patient Guide
- Urinary Tract Infection Fact Sheets
- Bladder health facts and stories, as well as a collection of videos and podcasts, and more.
Encourage your patients to visit UrologyHealth.org/BladderHealth to ensure they receive the trusted resources you have come to expect from the Foundation.