BCAN serves as the leading voice for bladder cancer in the U.S., providing resources to not only those diagnosed with the disease but their families, caregivers and the medical community united in support of people touched by the disease. The organization is setting the agenda for bladder cancer by promoting and funding collaborative and cutting-edge research programs and providing critical patient support and education services. Each year, it provides thousands of patients, caregivers and the medical community with the educational resources and support services they need to navigate their bladder cancer journey. BCAN works collaboratively with the medical and research professionals who are dedicated to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of bladder cancer and empowers the patient community by allowing them to share experiences with others, and to participate in building awareness of the need for a cure.
BCAN was founded in 2005 by Diane Zipursky Quale and her late husband, John Quale, a bladder cancer patient who lost his battle to the disease in June 2008. At present, BCAN is the only national organization devoted to advancing bladder cancer research and supporting those impacted by the disease. Since its founding, BCAN has been on the front-lines advocating for greater public awareness and increased funding for research to identify effective treatment and eventually, a cure for bladder cancer.
Services, Resources and Programming
BCAN’s resources and services for the bladder cancer community, including researchers, health professionals and the general public focus on the following core areas: promoting research and policy, bladder cancer education, psychosocial support and awareness-building efforts.
· Bladder Cancer Think Tank: In 2006, BCAN started the first-ever scientific conference solely focused on bladder cancer in North America, called the Bladder Cancer Think Tank. Hosted annually, the event convenes leading oncologists, urologists, researchers and patients to enhance collaboration among those dedicated to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of bladder cancer.
· Young Investigator Awards: Launched in 2013, BCAN’s Young Investigator Awards include three research grants of $100,000 each, over a two-year period. These grants fund researchers who may be working in basic, translational, clinical, epidemiologic, bioengineering or other scientific or research fields, but are also working in a research environment capable of supporting innovative bladder cancer research.
· John Quale Travel Fellowship: The John Quale Travel Fellowship Program provides financial support to help select researchers pay travel expenses related to their attendance at the annual Bladder Cancer Think Tank where they have the opportunity to present their research, network with leading bladder cancer researchers and gain insights from the Think Tank. Each year, four $1,500 travel fellowships are awarded to early career physicians and scientists.
· Patient Forums: BCAN has organized in-person patient forums held around the country to bring together medical professionals, researchers, patients, caregivers and loved ones to discuss a broad range of bladder cancer subjects.
· Clinical Trial Matching Tool: In partnership with EmergingMed, BCAN offers a free, confidential and personalized service to help patients locate bladder cancer clinical trials that may be appropriate for them based on their unique diagnosis, staging, treatment history and overall health. Matches can be identified online or via telephone at 800-504-7442 with the help of a Clinical Trial Specialist.
· Patient Handbook: Bladder Cancer Basics for the Newly Diagnosed is a comprehensive guide offering information on bladder cancer diagnosis and treatment options to help patients and their loved ones make the most informed choices about their care. Available online and in print in English and Spanish, the resource can also be ordered by healthcare professionals for their offices.
· Patient Insight Webinars: BCAN offers patient insight webinars to provide patients and caregivers as well as medical professionals and researchers the most up-to-date information on key bladder cancer topics.
· Patient Toolkit: BCAN’s Tips from Patients, For Patients toolkit includes information on procedures and treatments for bladder cancer from the perspective of other patients and survivors who have undergone the procedures themselves.
· Online Support Community: BCAN’s bladder cancer online support community includes over 6,000 members and is available 24 hours a day and allows survivors and their loved ones to support each other through their respective bladder cancer journeys with practical and emotional advice.
· In-Person Support Groups: BCAN supplies information on 29 in-person support groups in 15 states and Canada to provide support and information to those with bladder cancer and their loved ones.
· Walk for Bladder Cancer: Started in 2011, BCAN’s annual Walk for Bladder Cancer activates BCAN supporters at more than 70 sites nationwide to increase bladder cancer awareness and raise funds for BCAN’s education and research programs.
· Scientific Advisory Board: Leveraging deep relationships within the medical community, BCAN has assembled more than 50 leading urologists, oncologists, radiation oncologists and pathologists working within the bladder cancer field to serve on a Scientific Advisory Board that convenes regularly to guide BCAN’s efforts toward awareness and a cure.