Bladder Cancer Awareness Month

Bladder Cancer Awareness Month

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Allison Ariail, PT, DPT, CLT-LAANA, BCB-PMD is one of the creators of the Herman & Wallace Oncology of the Pelvic Floor Course Series. Allison Ariail is a physical therapist who started working in oncology in 2007 when she became certified as a lymphatic therapist. She worked with breast cancer, lymphedema patients, head and neck cancer patients, and the overall oncology team to work with the whole patient to help them get better. When writing these courses, Allison was part of a knowledgeable team that included Amy Sides and Nicole Dugan among others.

As pelvic rehab professionals, we know the importance of the microbiome of the digestive tract and how this can influence issues our bowel patients may experience. You also may know that the GI microbiome can influence immune function as well as mental health. Did you know that the urinary bladder has its own microbiome? Recent developments in next-generation sequencing and bioinformatic platforms have allowed for the detection of microbial DNA in the urinary tract.(1) This could be a game changer for those who suffer from chronic urinary tract infections. However, it could be even more important as a way to prevent bladder cancer. May is Bladder Cancer Awareness Month. In honor of this month, let’s further discuss how the urinary microbiome may influence the development of bladder cancer.

Dysbiosis of the urinary microbiome could be related to bladder cancer through chronic inflammation in the urothelial microenvironment. Chronic inflammation is a hallmark of genomic instability and the development of cancer. A study in 2021 compared the urinary microbiome of patients with muscle-invasive and non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer. They found the microbial profiles differed in patients with cancer compared to healthy individuals. They also found that there were different microbial profiles from the less invasive non-muscle invasive versus the more invasive types of bladder cancer.(2)

The urinary microbiome is a growing area of research and I would expect to see more information come out on this, what influences the urinary microbiome, as well as how modulating this can prevent and fight urothelial cell carcinoma. I would anticipate more treatment options including some new immunotherapy agents to emerge that can help to fight bladder cancer.

If you do not know much about bladder cancer and would like to learn more, Oncology of the Pelvic Floor Level 2B covers topics on bladder cancer and gynecological cancers. Join us to learn more about these diagnoses, medical treatments, and ways a pelvic rehab professional can help these patients recover.


1.  Neugent ML, Hulyalkar NV, Nguyen VH, Zimmern PE, and De Nisco NJ.  Advances in understanding the human urinary microbiome and its potential role in urinary tract infection.  mBio. 2020; 11(2): e00218-20.

2.  Hussein AA, Elsayed AS, Durrani M, et al.  Investigating the association between the urinary microbiome and bladder cancer: an exploratory study.  Urol Oncol.  2021; 39(6): 370.e9-370e19.


*Certified Lymphatic Therapists may skip Oncology of the Pelvic Floor Level 1 and move on to the Level 2A and Level 2B courses.*

Oncology of the Pelvic Floor Level 1 - no partner needed for registration
Price: $550.00          Experience Level: Beginner          Contact Hours: 17.5 hours

Description: The course will address issues that are commonly seen in a patient who has been diagnosed with cancer such as cardiotoxicity, peripheral neuropathy, and radiation fibrosis. Some holistic medicine topics, including yoga and mindfulness, will be discussed in order to fully prepare the participant to be able to competently work with cancer survivors.

The basics of the lymphatic system will be covered, as well as when to refer the patient to a lymphatic specialist for further treatment. Red flags and warning symptoms will be discussed so the participant feels comfortable with knowing when to refer the patient back to their medical provider for further assessment.

This introductory course is aimed to get the participant comfortable with working with oncology patients and as part of an interdisciplinary oncology team.

Course Dates: July 8-9 and December 2-3


Oncology of the Pelvic Floor Level 2B - partner needed for registration
Price: $600.00          Experience Level: Intermediate          Contact Hours: 19.25 hours

This course was designed to build on the information that was presented in Oncology of the Pelvic Floor Level 1.

Description: Information will be provided focusing on gynecological and bladder cancers including risk factors, diagnosis, and prognosis. The participant will also understand the sequelae of the medical treatment of cancer and how this can impact a patient’s body and quality of life. Other topics include rehabilitation and nutritional aspects focusing on these specific cancers, as well as home program options that patients can implement as an adjunct to therapy.

Course Dates: December 9-10

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