Bladder cancer accounts for approximately two percent of cancer diagnoses in Australia with around two hundred new cases diagnosed in South Australia each year. It is most prevalent among people aged over ﬁfty years of age, with men three times more likely than women to be affected.
Ms Susan Heyes, a PhD candidate in the School of Nursing and Midwifery, is examining the impact of bladder cancer on couples and families in South Australia.
People with bladder cancer are often a forgotten group who receive limited support. Results from phase one of Ms Heyes’ study have revealed that many people with bladder cancer are struggling to cope. Participants have reported signiﬁ cant lifestyle disruption caused by incontinence, a common side effect of treatment. Sadly, this has caused some patients to cease work, and has led to pyschological health concerns for others. Furthermore, patients and their families report feeling lonely and socially isolated.