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Be clear about bladder and kidney cancer

Bladder and kidney cancers can affect people of all ages but are most common in men and people over 50. Around 19,100 people in England are diagnosed with bladder or kidney cancer each year, and 8,000 people die from bladder or kidney cancer in England each year.  But this does not need to be the case!be clear on cancer artwork.jpg

From 19 July – 23 September GPs in Lewisham are supporting the Blood in pee campaigns to help raise awareness of symptoms and encourage people to see their GP without delay.

We are working hard to increase early diagnosis of cancer. Patients can play a big part by knowing what to look out for. If you notice any blood in your pee, even if it is just once, tell your doctor straight away. The chances are it's nothing serious, but these cancers are more treatable if they are found early. All you need to do is look before your flush the toilet – it could save your life!

84% of those diagnosed with kidney cancer and 77% of those diagnosed with bladder cancer at the earliest stage (stage1) will live for at least five years. At a late stage (stage 4), this drops to 10% and 9% respectively.

When your pee appears pink because of blood, this is known as 'visible haematuria' and it is the main symptom of bladder cancer and a common symptom of kidney cancer. Dr Esther Appleby, Cancer Lead at NHS Lewisham CCG said: "You're not wasting anyone's time by getting your symptoms checked out. Whatever the problem, your doctor is there to help. And if it is a condition such as bladder or kidney cancer, early detection makes it easier to treat. Seeing your doctor early could save your life.

"Some symptoms may be cause by an infection or bladder or kidney stones, all of which may need treatment. But don't try and diagnose yourself. Go and see your doctor to find out for sure."

If you are a smoker, overweight, obese, work with exposure to certain chemicals, suffer from other medical conditions, such as kidney failure or a family history of cancer, these factors may increase your risk of bladder and/or kidney cancer.

About 4 in 10 cancer diagnosis could be prevented by lifestyle changes including stop smoking, eating healthily, staying active and cutting down on alcohol. For more information about this campaign, please visit nhs.uk/bloodinpee.