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Blood in Pee campaign

​A nationwide Be Clear on Cancer campaign has been launched, raising awareness of the key symptom for bladder and kidney cancers - blood in pee.

An estimated 17,450 people in England are diagnosed with bladder or kidney cancer every year, and about 7,600 people die each year. Blood in pee is a symptom in more than half of bladder cancers and almost a fifth of kidney cancers, so being aware of this is crucial.

The Be Clear on Cancer ‘blood in pee’ campaign first ran nationally in 2013 and 2014. Analysis of diagnoses during the 2013 campaign period shows a statistically significant increase in the number of bladder and kidney cancers diagnosed at pre-cancerous and early stage, and a reduction in late stage diagnoses for bladder cancer.

Early diagnosis of bladder and kidney cancer increases the chances of survival. For those diagnosed at the earliest stage (stage 1), the likelihood of surviving five years or more can be as high as 84 percent for kidney cancer and 77 percent for bladder cancer.

However, for those diagnosed at a late stage (stage 4), survival is as low as only 10 percent for kidney cancer and 9 percent for bladder cancer.

The campaign is aimed at men and women aged 50 and over, because between 90 to 97 percent of bladder and kidney cancer diagnoses are in people in this age group. It 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 campaign also promotes a ‘look before you flush’ message, particularly to women, who may be less likely to do so.

Dr Jenny Harries, regional director for South of England, Public Health England, said: “Evidence shows that Be Clear on Cancer campaigns really do make a difference. The rise in the number of bladder and kidney cancers being picked up early is important; it is this early detection that saves lives.

“It’s vital that we all do our bit to raise awareness that blood in pee could be an early sign of bladder or kidney cancer, and encourage anyone with this symptom to go to their GP. We know that people don’t always immediately visit their doctor if they spot blood in pee, which can be for a number of reasons.

“Some might ignore the symptoms, especially if it only happens once, or may pass the symptom off as cystitis. If you do notice blood in your pee, don’t wait for it to happen again before getting it checked out. Visit your GP straight away.”

More information about the signs and symptoms of bladder and kidney cancers is here​.