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EAUN23 puts the spotlight on BCa: The forgotten cancer

By Mr. Robert McConkey

Despite being a top 5 most commonly diagnosed cancer in Europe, bladder cancer (BCa) has been termed the “Cinderella” or the “forgotten cancer” as it has often been overlooked in terms of research funding, resources, and support.  All cancer patients, including BCa patients, deserve a high standard of care. This year’s EAUN meeting delivered an impressive range of educational presentations and interactive programmes as either stand-alone sessions or incorporated with related content to equip delegates with the knowledge to support this patient group.

In Plenary Session 2: Whirlwind review of Urology pathways, Prof. Eamonn Rogers’s (IE) presentation centred on the haematuria pathway. He described the diagnostic haematuria pathway and outlined how the changing population demographics and the role of the urology nurse will be crucial to delivering these services.

During the ESU/EAUN Hands-on Training Course for nurses in flexible cystoscopy, Ms. Katherine Chatterton (GB) led the practical course and the initial preparation of nurses in the development of their skills in flexible cystoscopy which is a critical tool in the diagnosis and surveillance of BCa.

Thematic session 4: “Professional collaboration along the bladder cancer care pathway focused entirely on the interprofessional collaboration along the BCa pathway exploring shared treatment decision-making, patient-centred nursing care of urinary diversions, and the physiotherapist’s role in rehabilitation.

The BCa education continued with the Thematic Session 7: Bladder Cancer Special Interest Group: Frailty in bladder cancer – an underestimated marker in clinical practice? highlighting the impact of this “hidden” risk factor.  Speakers explained what frailty is, how it can be assessed, and how to counteract it.   The use of the geriatric assessment tool was identified as critical in this regard.  Dr. Bente Thoft (DK) chaired and co-chaired active panel discussions in these sessions.  Further education was delivered by Ms. Rebecca Martin (GB) who highlighted the important and unmet needs of female sexual function in BCa.

Finally, I was a discussant in the Thematic Session 12: Interactive session on the side effects of the diagnostics and treatment of localised prostate cancer and non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer which addressed the psychological impact of a BCa diagnosis on quality of life and discussed a patient case to facilitate interaction and knowledge-exchange.

Future EAUN programmes will continue to commit to the ongoing delivery of nurse education in multidisciplinary, collaborative, holistic BCa care. Guaranteed, participants will receive the latest evidence-based best practices and updates.