HEALTH AND CARE: Campaign to raise awareness of cancer symptoms

The Be Clear on Cancer campaign aims to raise more awareness of bladder and kidney cancer and their symptoms

The Be Clear on Cancer campaign aims to raise more awareness of bladder and kidney cancer and their symptoms

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The Herald & Gazette have joined forces with GP practices in the area which form part of the NHS Coastal West Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). This week they are urging people to be aware of the symptoms of bladder and kidney cancer.

Hundreds of lives could be saved in our area if symptoms of bladder and kidney cancer were identified earlier.

It may not be a subject we are keen on discussing, but noticing blood in your urine could lead to early diagnosis, and treatment, as soon as possible.

Blood in your urine is a symptom in more than half of bladder cancers and almost a fifth of kidney cancers and for those diagnosed early, the likelihood of surviving for over five years can be as high as 84 per cent for kidney cancer and 77 per cent for bladder cancer.

Sadly that drops to 10 per cent and 9 per cent respectively if diagnosed late.

This Tuesday saw the launch of the latest national Be Clear on Cancer campaign aimed at raising more awareness of these cancers and their symptoms.

Latest figures show that across the South East around 3,000 people are diagnosed with bladder and kidney cancer each year and that approximately 1,380 people die from these cancers every 12 months.

This year’s campaign is aimed specifically at men and women aged 50 and over, as between 90 to 97 per cent of bladder and kidney cancer diagnoses are in people in this age group.

It encourages anyone who notices blood in their urine, even if it’s ‘just the once’, to visit their GP to get it checked out.

Results from the first national ‘blood in pee’ campaign in 2013 showed that the number of bladder, kidney and urological cancer diagnoses resulting from an urgent GP referral for suspected cancers increased by 8.2 per cent, 22 per cent and 14 per cent respectively compared to the same months in 2012.

While spotting blood in your urine does not always mean you have cancer, it is something you need to discuss with your doctor.

We want people to be aware that this is a symptom of cancer which needs to be investigated.

The sooner someone is checked out, they can be seen and referred to a specialist quickly if needed, and then if anything is found, the prognosis is a lot better.

A number of high profile people are adding their support to the campaign this year.

BBC journalist and radio presenter, and kidney cancer survivor, Nicholas Owen, has encouraged people to listen to the important message: “I was extremely lucky because my tumour was found early.

“Early diagnosis saves lives, so everyone should look out for key symptoms, like blood in your pee. Don’t delay, the sooner you speak to your GP, the sooner you know what you’re dealing with.”

For further information about the signs and symptoms of bladder and kidney cancer, please visit nhs.uk/bloodinpee

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