Blackpool residents are being urged to check for blood in their pee as part of new national campaign against bladder and kidney cancer.

The Be Clear on Cancer ‘Blood in Pee’ campaign aims to improve early diagnosis of bladder and kidney cancer by raising awareness of the signs and symptoms, encouraging people to see their GP without delay.

The message is clear: if you notice blood in your pee, even ‘just the once’, tell your doctor.

Visible ‘blood in pee’ is a key symptom for bladder and kidney cancers. Yet when asked to name cancer signs and symptoms, only one in three people mention unexplained bleeding. People need to know that if they have this symptom, they should see their GP without delay.

Other bladder cancer symptoms include:

  • Needing to pee very often or very suddenly
  • Pain while peeing

Other kidney cancer symptoms include:

  • A pain below the ribs that doesn’t go away

Around 17,000 people in England are diagnosed with bladder or kidney cancer each year and these cancers account for around 7,500 deaths each year.

In 2012, there were 172 registered cases of bladder or kidney cancer on the Fylde Coast.

Cancer prevention is one of the health priorities of the Altogether Now partnership programme, which is run between the NHS in Blackpool (Clinical Commissioning Group and Teaching Hospitals); Blackpool Football Club; and Blackpool Council. It aims to improve the health and wellbeing of people in the town and as part of this programme there are a number of ambassadors who support health messages and campaigns such as the Be Clear on Cancer campaign.

Blackpool FC will be displaying awareness posters throughout the concourses and toilets of Bloomfield Road to demonstrate their backing for the campaign.

Dr Amanda Doyle, Chief Clinical Officer at NHS Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Blackpool has high rates of cancer which is why prevention and early diagnosis are a priority for us. The ‘Be Clear on Cancer’ campaign is helping to increase awareness of the symptoms of bladder and kidney cancer. Anyone who is concerned should contact their GP as soon as possible.”

Dr Arif Rajpura, Director of Public Health in Blackpool, also added: “Receiving an early diagnosis increases the chance of survival from these cancers. The campaign message is clear – as soon as you spot blood in your pee, visit your GP. It’s probably nothing serious but it could also be a sign of something else that needs treatment, so don’t ignore the symptoms.”

Local resident, 90 year-old Bill Black, was on his way home from a trip to Kendal with his wife when during a trip to the toilet he noticed blood in his urine. He immediately knew something wasn’t right and decided that he needed to see his GP.

Blood tests and MRI scans followed before Bill was diagnosed with type three bladder cancer. He has since undergone an operation to remove the tumour and is encouraging anybody who has noticed similar symptoms to see their GP: “It’s not a happy moment being told you’ve got cancer, but I am delighted that in my case it is operable and treatable.

“Anybody who does not seek advice when they see blood in their urine is very foolhardy. You must go and see your GP straight away to get it checked out as quickly as possible. The sooner any problem is detected the sooner it can be treated.”

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

ENDS

For further information please contact Jonathan Bridge on 07825823879 or email jonathan.bridge@blackpool.nhs.uk.