A women from Peterborough who survived cancer has urged fellow residents to back a new awareness campaign.
Public Health England (PHE) has launched a new campaign called ‘Be Clear on Cancer’ in the East of England to highlight blood in pee as a key symptom of bladder and kidney cancers.
The campaign will encourage 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.
Peterborough survivor Geraldine Sinfield backs the campaign and is pleading that her fellow Peterborough residents take the steps to ensure they aren't potentially caught out by the symptoms
“I noticed blood in my pee in late 2013. I knew something was wrong and made an appointment to see my doctor straight away.
"He referred me to hospital for tests which showed I had bladder cancer. I’m so glad I acted quickly because my cancer was caught early.
"Recently, at my last appointment, my doctor was so pleased with my progress that I was told I would no longer need to have annual checkups, which is a huge relief.”
A new survey has shown that those most vulnerable to the cancer - over 50s - often don't check their urine for blood before they flush.
Around 14% of over 50s said they checked their pee and those that don't are more likely to miss a key sign of bladder or kidney cancer.
A new short film featuring TV doctor, Dr Dawn Harper, is being 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.
Blood in pee is a symptom in almost two thirds (64%) of all bladder cancers and around a fifth (18%) of kidney cancers.
Blood may not appear every time you go to the toilet and that is why it is vital to see a GP immediately, even if you've only seen it once.
48% of those surveyed in the East of England said they would not seek medical advice if they saw blood in their pee just once, however, 50% of those surveyed said they would wait and see if it happened again, potentially putting off a vital diagnosis.
When asked why they would put off a visit to the GP, 19% say they would be worried about wasting the GP’s time and 18% would only book an appointment sooner if they had other symptoms.
54 people in Peterborough are diagnosed with bladder or kidney cancer every year, in England as a whole 19,100 people are diagnosed and, unfortunately, 8,000 of those people die.
Spotting it early is critical as 84% of those diagnosed with kidney cancer and 77% of those diagnosed with bladder cancer at the earliest stage (stage 1) will live for at least five years. At a late stage (stage 4), this drops to 10% and 9% respectively.
The ‘Be Clear on Cancer’ ‘Blood in Pee’ campaign runs until 23rd September and includes advertising on TV, radio and in washrooms and online.
For further information about the signs and symptoms of bladder and kidney cancer, search ‘Be Clear on Cancer’.