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We are so passionate about fighting bladder cancer because we’ve been there ourselves. We understand the challenges you’re facing and what it takes to win the battle. Read more about our founders and why they decided to set up the charity, meet the key people behind Team FBC and find out about our wonderful medical advisory panel.

Our history

Fight Bladder Cancer started from a very personal battle. Andrew, one of our founders, was diagnosed with a Stage 4, G3 bladder cancer in summer 2009. He had been experiencing symptoms for over 18 months but was misdiagnosed with an enlarged prostate. Faced with a poor prognosis and immediate life-changing surgery, Andrew and his wife T made contact with a fellow bladder cancer patient and his partner who had recently undergone the same treatment.

Just being able to talk to someone else who really understood what they were both going through helped them immensely. It also helped that the two spouses could chat about what could be expected during surgery and recovery. It was these snippets of real information that made a difference in those early days. Despite the fact that bladder cancer was so common, they were amazed to find out that most people knew nothing about it, and there wasn’t a dedicated bladder cancer charity in the UK.

Once Andrew was recovering from his surgery, they started the process of setting up what was to become the charity Fight Bladder Cancer.

From its beginnings as a local bladder cancer support group, it soon became clear that the lack of available support for patients and their families was in fact a national problem, and needed to be tackled on a much wider scale. With a team of trustees on board, the charity set up an online support forum for people the length and breadth of the country. This encouraged people to engage with others affected by bladder cancer honestly and openly, and the group quickly grew.

Following the success of the national support group, Fight Bladder Cancer started to focus on social media to campaign for better bladder cancer awareness. With over 4,000 members on the Confidential Forum and Twitter, including many leading urologists, oncologists, specialist nurses and researchers, the charity is making a difference on a national scale. The last piece of the puzzle was this website, launched in 2013, which currently receives over 200,000 unique visitors a year.

We want everyone affected by bladder cancer – patients, carers, family and friends – to have a place to come to for support, information and advice.

The Fight Bladder Cancer objectives are ... 

  • Support Support

    Support people affected by bladder cancer 

  • Awareness Awareness

    Raise awareness about the causes of bladder cancer and its treatments so it can be caught early 

  • Research Research

    Campaign for (and support research into) this much-ignored cancer 

  • Change

    Affect policy at the highest levels to bring about change in bladder cancer treatment 

Key members of our team

We currently have eight trustees and a small army of volunteers at Fight Bladder Cancer. The trustees’ role is to ensure that the charity keeps to its stated objectives and is run fully in accordance with all current UK charity law. Our volunteers help with specific areas within the charity and without them, well, we simply couldn’t function! Our panel of trustees: John Hester (Chair), Deborah Major (Vice Chair), Professor Jim Catto, Dr Alison Birtle, Hilary Baker CNS, Melanie Costin, Valerie Hester and Paul Major.

Our medical advisory panel

We have great support from a number of the most respected professionals in the field of bladder cancer who are passionate about making a difference to bladder cancer treatment, survival and quality of life. For their support and expertise, we’d like to say “Thank You!”

Professor Jim Catto

Professor James Catto

MB ChB PhD FRCS (Urol)

Professor Urological Surgery, University of Sheffield & Honorary Senior Clinical Research Fellow, University of Oxford

Jim qualified from Leeds University in 1994 and trained in York and Sheffield, UK before a fellowship in Brisbane, Australia. He was appointed an Honorary Consultant Urological Surgeon in 2007 and specialises in Uro-Oncology. In 2014, James took over as Editor In Chief of European Urology. Jim has raised over £9.3 million in peer-reviewed funding and published more than 100 primary research manuscripts. 


Dr Alison Birtle

Dr Alison Birtle

MB BS MRCP FRCR MD

Consultant Clinical Oncologist, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals & Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer

Alison's general medical and specialist registrar oncology training was undertaken in London Charing Cross and Westminster. Her MD Thesis was completed at the Institute of Urology, University College London, and the Academic Urology Unit, Royal Marsden Hospital. She is Chair of the NCRI bladder clinical study group. Her research interests are in systemic therapy in urological cancers, chemoradiation and radiotherapy advances in urological tumours, and survivorship. 


Dr Nick Brook

Dr Nick Brook

BSc MSc MBBS MD FRCS (Urol) FRACS (Urol)

Consultant Urological Surgeon, Royal Adelaide Hospital & Clinical Associate Professor in Surgery, University of Adelaide

Nick completed surgical urology training in the UK, before undertaking an advanced laparoscopic and cancer fellowship in Brisbane. Nick holds Fellowships of both the UK (FRCS Urol) and Australasian (FRACS Urol) Colleges of Surgeons. His clinical and basic science research interests include being the lead urologist on a number of clinical trials based at the Royal Adelaide Hospital. He has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals and has presented at numerous international meetings. 


Mr Hugh Mostafid

Hugh Mostafid

MSc FRCS(Urol) FEBU​

Consultant Urologist and Honorary Senior Lecturer at the Royal Surrey County Hospital

Hugh qualified from St Thomas's Hospital London in 1989 and trained at Guy's Hospital and the Institute of Urology in London and now leads the regional bladder cancer service at the Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford which covers a population of 1.8 million and is one of the few centres in the country performing robotic-assisted radical bladder cancer surgery. In 2014 he was a visiting scholar at the Department of Urology at the University of California in Los Angeles to learn robotic surgery techniques. He is also an Honorary Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Surrey in Guildford.

He has published over 40 papers and written book chapters on bladder cancer as well as being an invited speaker at national and international meetings on bladder cancer.


Dr John Rees

Dr Jon Rees

MB ChB MD MRCS MRCGP DRCOG

GP with a special interest in Men’s Health and Urology

Jon trained in surgery and urology for 7 years and wrote his MD thesis on men with prostate cancer. He then moved into General Practice, but has maintained a specialist interest in urology. He now helps run a community urology service, carrying out diagnostic procedures in a community setting. Jon is the founder of the Primary Care Urology Society, a forum for healthcare professionals to debate issues in urology. He advises FBC with regard to awareness and support for bladder cancer within Primary Care. 


Fiona Sexton

Fiona Sexton

Former BAUN President & Independent Urology Nurse Specialist

Fiona began working in urology after qualifying as a nurse in Glasgow in 1992. Following some time on the wards then in Research and Audit, she became a Urology Nurse Specialist in 1998. After completing a BSc in Urology Specialist Practice, Fiona developed her expertise, including advanced skills in prostate biopsy and flexible cystoscopy, and completed an MSc in Cancer Care. Fiona has worked in a wide variety of roles within urology including the oncology team at Rosemere Cancer Centre. She currently works as an independent Urology Nurse Specialist. Fiona supports FBC in the fields of bladder cancer generally, pre- and post-surgical care, chemo, intravesical treatments and radiotherapy. 


Ann Moore

Ann Moore

Former BAUN Council Member & Urology Clinical Nurse Specialist, South Warwickshire

Ann is a Urology Clinical Nurse Specialist working in Warwick. She has worked in urology for 25 years and participates in a variety of nurse-led clinics on a rotational basis with her colleagues. Clinic sessions include both cancerous and benign topics: erectile dysfunction, LUTS, urodynamics, intravesical therapy, haematuria, prostate cancer follow-up as well as flexible cystoscopy diagnostics and follow-ups. She has an MSc in Management and is an independent nurse prescriber. Ann supports FBC with a special remit on male sexual dysfunction. 


Jane Brocksom

Jane Brocksom

BAUN Hon. Secretary and Urology & Continence Nurse Specialist, Leeds Teaching Hospitals

Jane has worked in urology since 1996. Initially within the operating theatres and since 2001 as a Urology Nurse Specialist, her role today is primarily nurse-led continence and benign urology clinics – including intravesical Botox, artificial slings in men and women, artificial sphincters in men, sacral nerve stimulation, female sexual function, intermittent and indwelling catheters. She has a BHSc in Healthcare Studies. Jane supports FBC with a special remit on female sexual dysfunction. 


Julie Jenks

Advanced Nurse Practitioner, University College London Hospitals

Julie is an Oxford Brookes University graduate initially working in both emergency and critical care. After completing her MSc in Advanced Clinical Nursing at the University of Manchester in 2007 she joined the Urology department of University College London Hospitals specialising in adolescent, female and reconstructive urology.  Currently she focuses on adult continence, developing and conducting a sacral neuromodulation service, for which she was awarded Urology Nurse of the Year in 2012.  Her PhD research is on dynamic bladder function and the effects of neuromodulation.
 


If you are a medical professional and would like to know more about how you can help Fight Bladder Cancer, please get in touch at info@fightbladdercancer.co.uk.

Blowing bubbles for bladder cancer

All over the world, every year, we pick one special day to blow bubbles in memory of those we have lost to bladder cancer. Be part of the next Bubbles for Bladder Cancer day.

Find out more here ...

 

Join Team FBC

In addition to our Trustees, we heavily rely on our wonderful volunteers who help support our work. You can help too. You can support us and help people affected by bladder cancer.

To find out more take a look at our Get Involved page.

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Want to subscribe to our FIGHT! magazine?

Find out how to subscribe to our quarterly magazine for the latest news & views on bladder cancer

Get in touch

We’ve done everything we can to make all the information on this site as accurate as possible. Whilst we have had support from a small team of medical professionals advisors to review the general medical content of this site, please remember, that only YOUR medical team can give YOU specific advice about YOUR symptoms or illness. We encourage you to discuss any potential options with them.