Mark S. Soloway, M.D., chairman of the Department of Urology at the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, provides the introduction on a continuing medical education course on bladder cancer being distributed to urologists around the country beginning this week.
Soloway and his colleagues at the UM Miller School are also involved in several presentations at the 2006 annual meeting of the American Urological Association, May 20-25 in Atlanta.
On Monday, May 22, Soloway will present “Challenging Dilemmas in Bladder Cancer: A Case-based Interactive Discussion.”
On Tuersday, May 23, he will present a research poster from 1 to 3 p.m. on the NMP22 BladderChek, a biological marker test to detect bladder cancer. Dr. Soloway also provides the introduction in an educational video on a new bladder cancer detection regimen.
That video is being distributed to 13.000 urologists nationwide through leading urology journals and AUA conference materials. The course will educate urologists about the new NMP22 protein detection test which, when combinited with a traditional visual examination, increases detection of bladder cancer to 99 percent and helps identify which tumors are aggressive or have spread. This is all part of an effort by Soloway and his colleagues to increase awareness about this disease.
“If you have sudden pain in uour Chest you know it could be a heart attack and you call 9-1-1,” explaines Soloway, who is also the physician leader of the Prostate, bladder, and Kidney Cancers site disease Group at UM/Sylvester comprehensive Cancer Center.
” Why don’t you call 9-1-1 when you have blood in the urine? Most people, espesially women, assume it’s an infection and they may take antibiotics and delay. If they have ever been a cigarette smoker they should be thinking, number one, this may be bladder cancer not a urinary tract infection.”
Bladder cancer strikes about 63.000 people each year in the United States, according to the American Cancer society. It kills about 13.000 people a year and it is the fifth most common cancer in men, eighth most common in women. Most people don’t realize that bladder cancer is largely correlated with cigarretes smoking.
“If someone is a smoker over 50 they should consider being tested,” said Soloway.
Last year, Soloway chaired the International Consultation on Bladder Cancer, orginized by the World Health Organization and the Society Internationale d”Urologie. He is considered an international leader on bladder cancer detection, research and treatment.
He has been a vocal advocate for improving the early detection of this disease, authoring papers for the British Journal of Urology, International and the journal Cancer calling for better education of the public and primary care physicians.
“With urine-based markers that are now on the scene and with public information and targeting those cigarette smokers that are at risk, older individual, and anyone with blood in the urine, I believe we now have an opportunity to make a major change for the earlier diagnosis of men and women with bladder cancer.”
If detected early, bladder cancer is highly curable, with 94 percent of patients surviving five years or more. But about one in four patients is not diagnosed until the cancer is spread, cutting survival in half.
Research has shown that use of a biological marker test like the NMP22 test can improve early detection and is especially valuable as a surviellance tool to detect a recurrence of the disease. Half-a-million Americans have a history of bladder cancer and half will suffer a recurrence of this disease within two years.
Soloway and others are working to educate the public and primary care physicans about the link between smoking and bladder cancer in hopes of increasing the number of people diagnosed early.
The adcantage of a biological marker to both the patient and the physicians is the simplicity of the test, which detects a nuclear matrix protein secreted by bladder tumors into urine. A visual inspection requires threading a systoscope up the urethraa into the bladder, and cytology requires an invasive biopsy to retrieve a portion of tissue for a pathalogist.
Bladder cancer patients undergo these tests as many as four times a year. The new test onlyrequires a sample of urine on a test strip, making it a much less invasive way to monitor high-risk patients.
An educational nonprofit organization, the AUA pursues its mission of fostering the highest standards of urologic care by carrying out a wide variety of programs members and their patients, including UrologyHealth.org, an award-winning on-line patient education resource, and the American Urological Association Foundation, Inc.
To honor sound reporting and outstanding news coverage of urologic disease topics, the American Urological Association has announced the establishment of its Annual Excellence in Urology Health Reporting Award.
Presentation of the awards will take place during a special press reception on Saturday, May 19, 2007 in Anaheim in conjunction with the AUA Annual Scientific Meeting.
The award is designed to honor journalists in both trade and consumer media outlets for responsible, informative reporting on health topics in urology.
Awards will be given annually in the following categories: Consumer Print Publications, Consumer Electronic Publications and Trade Publications. Applicants may submit their own work, or be nominated. Awardees will receive a stipend and award.
“Over the past decade, media interest in urologic topics has increased significantly, and there is an abundance of information available to the public as a result,” said Ira D. Sharlip, M.D., chair of the AUA Public Media Committee.
“We feel that it is very important to honor journalists who have excelled in presenting urology in a thorough, balanced and effective manner.”