In addition to raising public awareness about the risks and signs of bladder cancer, the events will serve as a forum for bladder cancer patients, survivors and their caregivers to meet and share their stories.
The planned events, which will include picnics, candle-lighting ceremonies, and educational forums, are designed to encourage interaction between bladder cancer survivors, their families and their local communities to help shed light on this under-recognized and underserved disease.
For many people living with bladder cancer, the low level of public awareness of the disease, combined with limited treatment options and relative lack of research funding, contributes to a feeling of isolation.
As an additional way to mark Bladder Cancer Awareness Day, U.S. Representative Tom Rooney (R-Fla.) has introduced House Resolution 1445 to recognize July 17, 2010 as "National Bladder Cancer Awareness Day."
Approximately 70,000 new cases of bladder cancer are diagnosed and more than 14,000 Americans die from the disease annually.
Smokers are at high risk of bladder cancer. Other risk factors for bladder cancer include exposure to chemicals found in the rubber, dye, leather, printing, textile, and paint industries, as well as exposure to diesel fumes, dry cleaning fluids, and arsenic in well water.
Firefighters, veterans, and hairdressers are also at higher than average risk of the disease.
The most frequent symptom of the disease is blood in the urine - a signal that one should see one's doctor immediately.
Bladder Cancer Awareness Day is being staged with national sponsorship support from GE Healthcare.
To attend a local event, or for more information about bladder cancer, please visit www.bcan.org or call 888-901-BCAN.