I was both grateful and honoured to have been awarded an EAUN travel grant which enabled me to attend the 20th Annual EAUN Congress in Barcelona (ES). Before leaving Ireland, I had downloaded the EAUN conference app and populated my calendar with events I wanted to attend.
With over 300 sessions in total between the EAU and EAUN, I had to make some tough decisions between interesting sessions. There were, however, a number of sessions that I felt were essential to attend. As my own role is focused on the management of patients with bladder cancer, I was committed to attend sessions such as the Thematic Session #3 Bladder Cancer Special Interest Group (SIG) on Saturday 16 March, and the inaugural meeting of the World Bladder Cancer Coalition on Monday 18 March. In this piece, I hope to have summarised and integrated a snap-shot of some of the information I have learned.
Interest in bladder cancer
Bladder cancer is the 9th most common cancer worldwide, it is one of the most expensive cancers to treat because of arduous treatment and surveillance schedules and high rates of recurrence, and has a detrimental impact on patient’s biopsychosocial wellbeing. However, its profile is low, the level of research funding it receives is paltry at around 1%, and as a consequence very little has changed in new treatment options in more than 20 years.
I noticed that the EAUN19 bladder cancer SIG session appeared to have one of the highest attendance rates of delegates at all the EAUN19 sessions I attended, and the World Bladder Cancer Patient Coalition (WBCPC) event was also very well attended. This highlights the fact that healthcare professionals are interested both to increase their knowledge about the condition, promote awareness, influence political policymakers, and advocate for both patients and support groups with the ultimate aim of improving patient outcomes.
Bladder Cancer SIG
The Bladder Cancer SIG session was titled ‘Past, Present, and Future Pe