Be Clear on Cancer’s ‘Blood in Pee’ roadshow is touring the country and visiting the Swan Centre in Yardley, Birmingham on Thursday 10 and Friday 11 March to raise awareness amongst residents of blood in pee as a key symptom for both bladder and kidney cancers.
Latest figures show that in the West Midlands region around 1,885 people are diagnosed with bladder or kidney cancer each year, with about 271 in Birmingham local authority area; while about 876 people in the region die from these cancers annually, with around 111 lives lost in Birmingham.
The roadshow 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 roadshow is also promoting a “look before you flush” message, particularly to women, who may be less likely to do so.
Early diagnosis of bladder and kidney cancer increases the chances of survival, so being aware of the symptoms is crucial. For those diagnosed at the earliest stage (stage 1) the likelihood of surviving five years or more can be as high as 84% for kidney cancer and 77% for bladder cancer. However, for those diagnosed at a late stage (stage 4), survival is as low as 10% for kidney cancer and 9% for bladder cancer.1
The Be Clear on Cancer roadshow will be visiting 58 shopping centres across England for five weeks and will be stopping at 11 locations in the West Midlands region including Walsall, Redditch, Evesham, Cannock, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Nuneaton, Yardley in Birmingham, Burton-upon-Trent, Wolverhampton, Halesowen and Stourbridge.
At the event, leaflets will be distributed that provide information on bladder and kidney cancers. A nurse will also be present to talk to anyone who has any questions.
Dr Lola Abudu, health improvement consultant for Public Health England (PHE) in the West Midlands, said: “Every year in England, around 17,450 people are diagnosed with bladder or kidney cancer, with over 90% (around 16,400) aged 50 and over. Nationally around 7,600 die from these cancers each year. In the West Midlands region about 1,900 people are diagnosed each year, with almost 900 lives lost.
“Early diagnosis and treatment of bladder and kidney cancers can save lives, which is why our ‘Be Clear On Cancer’ roadshows will be touring the country – stopping in 11 shopping centres across the West Midlands – to remind people, especially aged 50 and over, that ‘blood in pee’ is the major sign that something may be wrong.
“Although more than double the number of men are diagnosed with bladder and kidney cancers than women each year in England (11,800 compared to 5,700) this year we’re reminding women to ‘look before you flush’. But the message to everyone is that if you notice blood in your pee, even if it is ‘just the once’, tell your doctor. The chances are it’s nothing serious, but bladder and kidney cancers are more treatable if they are found early, and it’s estimated that almost 1,000 deaths could be prevented every year in England if people would just check.”
Birmingham City Council Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, Cllr Paulette Hamilton, said: “This really is an important message that could save your life. If you notice blood in your pee, even if it’s only once, you should see your GP straightaway. The Chances are it’s nothing serious, but blood in your pee is a symptom of bladder or kidney cancer and early detection ensures the best possible chance of successful treatment.”
Ian Lavender, the Birmingham born actor and star of Dad’s Army is a bladder cancer survivor, he said: “I’m supporting this year’s ’Blood in pee’ campaign as a survivor of bladder cancer. 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 save their life – it saved mine, and I’m 70 and still happy to be working.”
Nationally, around 17,450 people in England are diagnosed with either bladder or kidney cancer every year, and around 7,600 people die each year.1 Blood in pee is a symptom in over half of bladder cancers and almost a fifth of kidney cancers.1
For further information about the signs and symptoms of bladder and kidney cancer, visit: nhs.uk/bloodinpee