The Amarican Urological Association Foundation and the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network (BCAN), www.bcan.org the first national patient-based organization for bladder cancer, announced today that they have formed a partnership to help promote awareness of bladder cancer, the 5th most prevalent cancer in the U.S.

As Part of the agreement, the two organizations will work together to help spread awareness among patients and the general public in USA. As a first step, the Foundation and BCAN plan to hold patient symposia across the country, with the first scheduled for the fall of this year. And in the future, BCAN and the AUA Foundation will work together with the global Orgaization: Federaion of bladder cancer Patients – FbcP.

“Given the importance of making people aware of this serious disiease, the AUA Foundation is pleased to join with BCAN in helping the public learn more about bladder cancer,” said John Huber, executive director of the AUA Foundation. ” We are proud to join BCAN in this mission to help educate people about the latest research, symptoms and treatments of this disease. Together we can help raise awareness and hopefully help save lives in the process.”

In addition to the AUA Foundation, BCAN has received the support of the medical community. More than 20 prominent academic urologists, o­ncologists and radiologists, representing many of the major cancer centers in the United States, serve o­n BCAN’s Scientific Advisory Board.

“Despite the fact that there are more than 63.000 new patients diagnosed with bladder cancer and 13.000 deaths annually, it has been treated like the “elephant in the room,” the disease no o­ne wants to talk about in public,” said Diane Quale, president of BCAN. “With the help of the AUA Foundation and others, we hope to address the issue at all levels – so that bladder cancer is no longer the silent disease.”

BCAN also recently announced that the actor Tate Donovan will join the organization as both a national spokesperson and member of the BCAN Board of Directors. Donovan will attend the AUA conference to express the importance of raising awareness about the disease.

Donovan and his family have been profoundly affected by bladder cancer. His father, Dr. Timothy Donovan, at the time a retired urologist, died of bladder cancer in 2000. His mother also was diagnosed with superficial bladder cancer in October 2005.

As spokesperson for BCAN, Donovan will appear in educational materials, as well as tell his family’s story to the medical community and to the public to help spread awareness about the disease and its symptoms.

“We believe Tate can help us bring a national voice to bladder cancer in much the same way that Katie Couric increased public awareness of colorectal cancer,” said Diane Quale. ” His family’s experience is a very real example that the need for awareness is mandatory – even among doctors – and that the disease can affect anyone at any time.”

BCAN was founded by Diane Zipursky Quale and her husband, John Quale. John is a Bladder cancer survivor who was initially diagnosed in July 2000.

Since they began dealing with the disease, they have discovered that there is little knowledge about bladder cancer and that there is o­nly a limited amount of information avaiable to those suffering from it. Diane and John thought it was time to give a voice to bladder cancer and the hundreds of thousands of survivors of this disase.

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