Published February 16, 2016 at 10:13
The national ‘Be Clear on Cancer’ campaign returns to Blackburn with Darwen this week with the aim of raising awareness of a key symptom for both bladder and kidney cancers – blood in pee.
Latest figures show that around 51 people are diagnosed with bladder and kidney cancer locally each year, with 38 men and 13 women affected.
Nationally, around 17,450 people in England are diagnosed each year and blood in pee is a symptom in over half of bladder cancers and almost a fifth of kidney cancers, so being aware of this is crucial.
Early diagnosis of bladder and kidney cancer increases the chances of survival. For those diagnosed at the earliest stage, the likelihood of surviving five years or more can be as high as 84 per cent for kidney cancer and 77 per cent for bladder cancer. However, for those diagnosed at a late stage survival is as low as 10 per cent for kidney cancer and 9 per cent for bladder cancer.
The campaign is aimed at men and women aged 50 and over and encourages anyone who notices blood in their pee, even if it’s ‘just the once’, to visit their GP to get it checked out. Given that people may not spot blood in their pee unless they check, this year’s campaign also promotes a “look before you flush” message, particularly to women, who may be less likely to do so.
Councillor Mustafa Desai, Executive Member for Health and Adult Social Care, said:
It’s a simple message: “look before you flush” and make sure you go and see your GP if you notice blood in your pee. Spread the word, someone you know might have this symptom and reminding them to get it checked could be vital. Early diagnosis saves lives, so everyone should look out for key symptoms. Don’t delay, the sooner you speak to your GP, the sooner you know what you’re dealing with.
Dr Gifford Kerr, Consultant in Public Health for Blackburn with Darwen Council, said:
We know that people are concerned about wasting their GP’s time. But, if you have had blood in your pee, even if it’s ‘just the once’, you must see your GP to get it checked out. It can be a symptom of many other conditions which may not be that serious, such as cystitis, but even that should be checked out by a doctor, as it can be a sign of cancer.
The nationwide Be Clear on Cancer ‘blood in pee’ campaign will run for six weeks. For further information about the signs and symptoms of bladder and kidney cancer, please visit nhs.uk/bloodinpee