It was a shock to me to first discover that I have Bladder Cancer. I was without symptoms and the cancer was found while I underwent a routine ultrasound test, due to an enlarged prostate to make sure I properly void my bladder. The alert technician saw something and my urologist immediately sent me for a CT scan which clearly showed the tumor and the resulting biopsy showed it was malignant. Thankfully it was discovered early and was non-invasive.
After my operation I underwent two years of BCG treatments which involved injecting the TB Bacteria into the bladder through the urinary track, to get the body’s immune system to attack the cancer cells. After the two years, I was followed up (and still am) with cystoscopies, CTs and quite expensive lab tests. I have to undergo these procedures for at least a total of ten years. I have been fortunate to have negative results now for 4 1/2  years.
After my diagnosis I looked into the cancer and was shocked to learn that BC is the fourth most common cancer amongst men, sixth among women (who tend to lose their bladder more often) third most common amongst fire fighters, fourth most common amongst veterans and approximately 17,000 Americans die every year from this disease. Interestingly enough it is the first cancer treatment to use the body’s own immune system to fight the cancer by injecting into the bladder the tuberculosis bacteria (BCG). That method has been used for the last 40 years and is still the first line of defense today for non invasive BC (My sister was treated with BCG over 30 years ago). While it seems that lately more research has begun especially to find similarities between bladder cancer mutations and other cancer mutations, this cancer is way down in the list of research money. My sister succumbed to lung cancer ten years after the BC Diagnosis and treatment.
My Wife and I became involved in raising awareness by joining the Bladder Cancer Awareness Network (BCAN) to lobby Congress first to declare May as Bladder Cancer Awareness Month and later to try and get Congress to raise research funding for veterans through the DOF. Now we are taking it a step further.
On May 21st 2017  we will be championing and participating in a walk in Central Nassau County sponsored by the Central Nassau County Rotary Foundation, to increase awareness of Bladder Cancer and help raise funds for research and support of its victims. We will be walking in memory of my sister Naomi...
Naomi’s Story: I was told people don't like to talk about diseases under their belt, and so it was another surprise to find out that my sister of blessed memory Naomi in whose memory we will be walking, also had Bladder Cancer. I knew that she had cancer but did not know it was BC. It was treated with BCG just like me. Ten years later Naomi was diagnosed with lung cancer and I remember that there was a lot of talk about connections without conclusions. Now thanks to research grants by BCAN Hospitals are sequencing tumors to find common mutations. One such common mutation was found in BC and breast Cancer.
We hope and pray that raising awareness and more research grants will bring about better and earlier detection. We hope that mutation analysis will bring about common medication and cancer fighting technology.
Thank you, thank you. 
Rotary International District 7255
2nd VP Central Nassau County Rotary 
Central Nassau County Rotary Foundation Treasurer