Pink Up: Bladder Cancer

Pink Up: Bladder Cancer

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The Nat Geo Wild Channel will celebrate the life and work of Scott Sims, the star of it's show "The Aloha Vet," tonight starting at 6 p.m.

Sims died of bladder cancer almost two weeks ago. The 59-year-old  was one of the only veterinarians on the island of Kauai, Hawaii, according to For one season, viewers got to see the measures Sims would take to care for the animals of Hawaii.

Hattiesburg Clinic Urologist, Dr. Jeff Wilson took the time to talk about bladder cancer for this month's Pink Up edition.

For almost 10 years, Wilson has helped diagnose and treat bladder cancer . 

"We deal with bladder cancer almost every week," Wilson said. 

The clinic's numbers foreshadows the national statistics. 

"Over half a million people in the United States have been diagnosed with bladder cancer at some point in their life time. This year over 74,000 people will be diagnosed with bladder cancer and over 16,000 people will die from bladder cancer," Wilson said.

He said this kind of cancer affects one gender more often than the other. 

"It's the fourth most common cause of cancer in men and the tenth most common cause of cancer in women," Wilson said. 

Nat Geo Wild "Aloha Vet" star Sims became one of those statistics. After a two month battle with bladder cancer, he lost the fight.

Wilson said if you are over the age of 50, the  signs and symptoms of bladder cancer, whether you are a man or woman, shouldn't be ignored. 

"Blood in your urine. Sometimes you may have some frequency. You may have some burning when you urinate, particularly with more advanced bladder cancers," Wilson said. 

He recited some risk factors. 

"Smokers are three times more likely to get bladder cancer than non-smokers. Work  place exposure to certain chemicals is a risk factor, particularly organic chemicals," Wilson said. 

He added a certain chemo therapy drug can cause bladder cancer. Actos, a drug for treating diabetes, is a cause. Wilson advised the following steps for prevention. 

"Number one is never start smoking, and if you do stop smoking your risk decreases back to its base line after 20 to 30 years," Wilson said. 

Lastly, he said use protective equipment if you are exposed to certain chemicals in your work place, and drink plenty of liquids to flush out any contaminants in your system.

If you can identify with any of the risks or symptoms, Wilson said talk to your doctor immediately. He said the sooner your doctor can diagnose the sooner your treatment can start.