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WellSpring Oncology Speaks Up About Bladder Cancer

Itís known as the silent killer; but this month itís time to sound the alarm against bladder cancer. While it is the fifth most common form of cancer in the U.S. it has little to no symptoms and the highest recurrence rate. Itís why during Bladder Cancer Awareness Month, WellSpring Oncology is raising awareness with a top ten need-to-know list about the disease.

Tampa Bay, FL, July 19, 2012 --( A Silent Sickness — Learn What to Look Out for This First Annual Bladder Cancer Awareness Month.

Approximately 70,000 new cases of bladder cancer are diagnosed annually and it is the fifth most commonly diagnosed cancer in the U.S., according to the The Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network (BCAN). However, bladder cancer is one of the least talked about forms of cancer, and a disease that most often presents with slight or no symptoms. Teaming up with BCAN, the physicians of WellSpring Oncology share the top 10 things to know about bladder cancer today— during Bladder Cancer Awareness Month.

Many women ignore or associate symptoms—like blood in the urine—with menstruation or menopause and delay reporting issues to their physicians. “Though bladder cancer is more prevalent in older men, studies have shown that women are more likely to present more advanced tumors and have worse prognosis and survival rates than men. That’s why it is so important for everyone to know his or her risk factors and see a physician right away even with subtle symptoms,” shares Debra Freeman, M.D., Board Certified radiation oncologist at WellSpring Oncology. “In addition, the number of women diagnosed with bladder cancer has been steadily increasing.”

Dr. Freeman along with Robert Miller, M.D., Zucel Solc, M.D., Frank Franzese, M.D., and Craig Miercort, M.D. provide the following information about this little-known cancer.

10. The National Cancer Institute reports the survival rate for women with bladder cancer lags behind that of men at all stages of the disease, African-American women in particular.
9. Keith Richards’ wife, Patti Hansen, shared her story of facing bladder cancer in an issue of Vogue Magazine.
8. Bladder cancer can affect women at any age. It is most common in men over 50.
7. Blood in the urine may be initially misdiagnosed as post-menopausal bleeding, simple cystitis, or as a urinary tract infection. As a result, a bladder cancer diagnosis can be overlooked for a year or more.
6. Bladder cancer symptoms may be identical to those of a bladder infection and the two problems may occur together. If symptoms do not disappear after treatment with antibiotics, insist upon further evaluation to determine whether bladder cancer is present.
5. Bladder cancer has the highest recurrence rate of any form of cancer—between 50-80 percent. Due mostly to prompt diagnosis, there are over 600,000 survivors currently living in America. (BCAN)
4. Most bleeding associated with bladder cancer is painless, however, about 30 percent of bladder cancer patients experience burning, frequent urination, frequent urinary tract infections, or a sensation of incomplete emptying when they urinate. Less common symptoms include painful urination, back aches, abdominal pain or weight loss. (BCAN)
3. Advances in treatment have led to higher rates of bladder preservation being achieved. Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) delivered using TomoTherapy can reduce radiation-induced gastrointestinal toxicity and increase the accuracy of irradiation.
2. Smoking is the biggest risk factor. 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. (BCAN)
1. The most frequent symptom of the disease is blood in the urine – a signal to see a doctor immediately. It can be visible (though it may sometimes appear dark brown or orange) but could also only be detected under a microscopic examination. (BCAN)

“The most important thing to be aware of are the signs and symptoms of bladder cancer and see a physician if you experience them,” Dr. Freeman reminds.

About the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network:
The Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network (BCAN – pronounced beacon) is the first national advocacy organization dedicated to improving public awareness of bladder cancer, advancing bladder cancer research and providing information and support to people affected by bladder cancer. Founded in May 2005, BCAN is a cooperative effort among bladder cancer survivors, their loved ones and the medical community. For more information, visit or call 888-901-BCAN.

About WellSpring Oncology:
Doctors Robert Miller, Zucel Solc and Frank Franzese opened the doors of WellSpring Oncology in the spring of 2008 to provide high-end treatment in a more personal and caring environment. The doctors at WellSpring Oncology have been practicing innovative radiation therapy since the 1970’s and developed the center to ensure patients have access to the latest technology available in the treatment of cancer. The doctors of WellSpring Oncology are all Board Certified in radiation oncology and received their training at the top centers in the country, including MD Anderson, Memorial Sloan Kettering and The University of California, San Francisco. WellSpring Oncology is located at 6600 Sixty Sixth Street North in Pinellas Park, Florida.

For more information or to make an appointment, contact WellSpring Oncology at (727) 343-0600 or visit them online at
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WellSpring Oncology
Shelly Webb

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