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People with bladder cancer feel disadvantaged by their cancer, according to new report1

People with bladder cancer feel disadvantaged by their cancer, according to new report1

- ‘Facing Bladder Cancer’ report, backed by patient group experts, highlights the true impact of the disease on mental health and emotional wellbeing felt by patients and caregivers-

ADDLESTONE, UK – 19, May 2022 -- Astellas Pharma Inc. (TSE:4503, Astellas Pharma Europe) today launched a research report ‘Facing Bladder Cancer’, revealing the disadvantage of living with what is described as a cancer, resulting in a high psychological impact.1 The report, backed by a panel of patient experts, shows that feelings of disgust, embarrassment and self-blame were apparent amongst patients, who highlight this hardship across their entire journey from an often-delayed diagnosis to end-stage care.1

 The research involved consulting over 300 patients and caregivers in the US and Europe and revealed the following:

• Mental health is an added significant issue with both patients (16%) and caregivers (23%) living with a diagnosed condition, putting added pressure on their circumstances1

• Substantial self-stigma has a huge impact on mental health, frequently leading to or being combined with depression and anxiety1

• For caregivers, loneliness and resentment is a profound issue with 42% feeling lonelier than before diagnosis, whilst 36% resent the impact the disease has had on their lives1

• Daily activities are also impacted heavily with 77% of patients less likely to leave their home for a few days and 92% of caregivers identifying at least one activity that they are less likely to do now1

“Bladder cancer does not receive the attention it deserves despite being one of the 10 most diagnosed cancers. As a result, the impact on emotional wellbeing for both people living with this cancer and their caregivers is considerable, as identified in the report. These findings bring to light the reality of low awareness and the impact on mental health that we all, as part of the bladder cancer community, need to come together to address if we are to help improve quality of life.” said Alex Filicevas, Executive Director, World Bladder Cancer Patient Coalition.

Bladder cancer is the fifth most common cancer in the western world with 151,000 new cases diagnosed in Europe every year. 2 Despite this, bladder cancer has low awareness.1 This was echoed in this report citing that 32% of people are not aware of its existence, resulting in a low understanding that is seen as a key driver of ignorance and stigma.1 In addition, those with bladder cancer also felt blamed and judged by friends, their family at the time and doctors due to the life choices they have made: 45% of cases are caused by smoking3 , and for patients who have smoked, they believe that they are seen as blameworthy, whilst 45% of younger patients felt they were blamed for causing their disease regardless of risk factors.1

 The report calls for urgent change to support patients and their carers during their journeys: up to 71% of patients aged 18-39 require emotional or psychological support from family at the time and after a cystectomy. The need to raise the profile of bladder cancer to drive greater understanding and empathy towards those affected as well as recognising the needs of carers so that they do not feel neglected is critical to addressing the issues raised in this report. Healthcare systems also need to adopt more efficient strategies for earlier and faster diagnosis as well as improve communications amongst healthcare professionals to enhance patient outcomes.

“The report highlights the real impact of living with bladder cancer on both patients and their caregivers. Lack of awareness of bladder cancer has been linked to declining mental health, which in turn has a knock-on effect on prognosis. If we are to improve outcomes for those impacted, efforts must be prioritised on increasing education and providing resources to support impacted communities.” said Stephen Head, Patient Partnerships Senior Director, Astellas.

About Urothelial Cancer Urothelial cancer is the most common type of bladder cancer (90 percent of cases) and can also be found in the renal pelvis (where urine collects inside the kidney), ureter (tube that connects the kidneys to the bladder) and urethra.4 Globally, approximately 573,000 new cases of bladder cancer and 212,000 deaths are reported annually. 5

About the Disease Disadvantage: Facing Bladder Cancer Report Qualitative and quantitative research commissioned by Astellas was designed to examine the stigma experienced by bladder cancer patients and their caregivers.1 The research surveyed 21 patients and caregivers in the USA, France and the UK with 1 hour in depth interviews, and 226 patients and 86 caregivers across USA, France, UK, Spain and Germany using an online questionnaire.1

About Astellas Astellas Pharma Inc. is a pharmaceutical company conducting business in more than 70 countries around the world. We are promoting the Focus Area Approach that is designed to identify opportunities for the continuous creation of new drugs to address diseases with high unmet medical needs by focusing on Biology and Modality. Furthermore, we are also looking beyond our foundational Rx focus to create Rx+® healthcare solutions that combine our expertise and knowledge with cutting-edge technology in different fields of external partners. Through these efforts, Astellas stands on the forefront of healthcare change to turn innovative science into value for patients. For more information, please visit our website at

Astellas Cautionary Notes In this press release, statements made with respect to current plans, estimates, strategies and beliefs and other statements that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements about the future performance of Astellas. These statements are based on management’s current assumptions and beliefs in light of the information currently available to it and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties. A number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to: (i) changes in general economic conditions and in laws and regulations, relating to pharmaceutical markets, (ii) currency exchange rate fluctuations, (iii) delays in new product launches, (iv) the inability of Astellas to market existing and new products effectively, (v) the inability of Astellas to continue to effectively research and develop products accepted by customers in highly competitive markets, and (vi) infringements of Astellas’ intellectual property rights by third parties.

Information about pharmaceutical products (including products currently in development), which is included in this press release is not intended to constitute an advertisement or medical advice.

 Astellas Contacts:

For Media

Kate Burd Director,

EST-C Communications

+44 7584 005916

References 1 Astellas, 2022, Disease Disadvantage: Facing Bladder Cancer Alone. Data on file

2 European Cancer Patient Coalition. Urological Cancer. Available at: Last accessed April 2022

3 Cancer Research UK. Bladder Cancer Statistics. Available at:,are%20caused%20by%20ionising%20radiation. Accessed April 2022.

4 American Society of Clinical Oncology. Bladder cancer: introduction (5-2019). Accessed April 2022

5 Cancer Today. Bladder Cancer Factsheet 2020. Accessed April 2022

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Last Updated: 20-May-2022