Blood in your pee? Speak to your GP
Every year, around 16,600 people in England are diagnosed with bladder or kidney cancer. Around 7,500 people die from bladder or kidney cancer in England each year, but this needn’t be the case. Knowing what to look out for saves lives.
Both cancers affect men and women, although they are more common in men. Most people diagnosed with these cancers are over 50. Those who have worked in manufacturing jobs that involved the use of rubber, dyes, textiles, plastics or certain other chemicals are more prone to developing bladder cancer. People on kidney dialysis are more at risk of developing kidney cancer.
Blood in your pee is the most common symptom of both bladder and kidney cancer. Dr Adam Bradford is a GP who has worked in south east London for 20 years, and is the Southwark Clinical Commissioning Group Lead for Cancer and Screening. He said
“If you notice any blood in your pee, even if it is just once, please tell your doctor straight away. The chances are it’s nothing serious, but these cancers are more treatable if they are found early. You are not wasting our time getting these symptoms checked out”.
Other symptoms that should not be ignored include pain below the ribs that doesn’t go away, any lumps in your stomach, needing to pee very often or very suddenly and pain while peeing. Some symptoms may be caused by an infection or kidney or bladder stones, all of which may need treatment. But don’t try and diagnose yourself. If you know anyone who has any of these symptoms, insist they see their doctor. It is not just about noticing symptoms, it is important to remember that we can all make lifestyle changes that will reduce our risks of cancer.
Dr Bradford adds “The best advice I can give won’t come as a surprise. If you’re a smoker, then quitting is the best thing you can do to improve your health. You can also increase your chances of avoiding cancer by eating plenty of fruit and vegetables, limiting alcohol intake, keeping active and maintaining a healthy weight”.
Don’t ignore the symptoms. If you’re concerned, go and see your GP.