Don’t flush signs of cancer down the toilet

Published Friday 27 July 2018 at 11:59

People in Blackburn and Darwen are being urged to visit their doctor if they spot blood in their pee.

Public Health England has launched the new Be Clear on Cancer campaign in Lancashire to highlight blood in pee as a key symptom of bladder and kidney cancers.

The campaign encourages everyone to “look before they flush” and visit their GP without delay if they notice blood in their pee, even if it’s just once as blood may not appear every time.

A new survey reveals that only 19 per cent of over 50s – those most at risk of these cancers – in Lancashire check the colour of their pee every time they go to the toilet. This means that they may not notice blood in their pee.

A new short film featuring TV’s Dr Dawn Harper has been released as part of the campaign. The film shows what to look out for as the colour of blood in your pee can vary – from very diluted to bright red or even dark brown, like the colour of weak black tea.

Dr Neil Smith, local GP and Cancer Lead for Blackburn with Darwen and East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Groups, said:

Blood in pee is a major symptom of both bladder and kidney cancers so we’re asking people to ‘look before you flush’ the toilet.

Even if you notice blood in your pee just the once you should tell your doctor. The chances are it’s nothing serious but bladder and kidney cancers are more treatable if they are found early.

Other potential symptoms to look out for are pains that don’t go away, either in the tummy or the side below the ribs, weight loss, pain when peeing and recurrent, unexplained cystitis – a urinary tract infection that can recur after treatment.

If you have any of these symptoms and they persist you should definitely visit your doctor. Don’t worry that you’re wasting their time because going to the GP could save your life.

The Be Clear on Cancer Blood in Pee campaign runs until 23 September and includes advertising on TV and radio, in washrooms and  online.

Click here for more information about the signs and symptoms of bladder and kidney cancer or search for Be Clear on Cancer.

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