Blood in your pee? Tell your doctor

Councillor Rob Waltham
Councillor Rob Waltham

North Lincolnshire Council is joining the national ‘Blood in Pee’ campaign and urging people to tell their GP if they notice any blood in their urine; this could be a sign of cancer.

The campaign that launched on 16 February and runs until 31 March aims to raise awareness of ‘blood in pee’ as a symptom of bladder and kidney cancers.

If you notice blood in your urine, even if it’s only once, visit your GP. The chances are it’s nothing serious, but if it is cancer, finding it early makes it more treatable.

Each year on average 45 men and 25 women are newly diagnosed with bladder or kidney cancer in North Lincolnshire; with both cancers being more common amongst over 50s.

In North Lincolnshire 30 people die each year from these cancers; of which two thirds are men.

Blood in your pee is considered the most common symptom for both bladder and kidney cancer. If diagnosed early, survival rate (one year) is high at between 91 to 96 per cent (more than nine in 10 people survive). However, diagnosed at a late stage, survival rates drop to between 33 to 42 per cent (one in three) so we are strongly encouraging to get any unusual symptoms checked as soon as you notice them.

Many cancers including bladder and kidney cancers can be due to lifestyle behaviours. Smokers have a higher rate of these cancers, with nearly 40 per cent of bladder cancer and a quarter of kidney cancers are estimated to be attributable to smoking.

A quarter of kidney cancer cases are estimated to be attributable to being overweight or obese. North Lincolnshire has a higher than average rate of excess weight amongst adults compared to England and historically higher rates of adults smoking compared to the England average.

Other bladder cancer symptoms include:

Cystitis (a urinary tract infection) that is difficult to treat or comes back quickly after treatment

Pain while weeing

Other kidney cancer symptoms include:

A pain in the side, below the ribs, that doesn’t go away

A lump in your stomach

Weight loss

You’re not wasting anyone’s time by getting your symptoms checked. If you experience any of these symptoms, see your GP as soon as possible. In around half of all cases of kidney cancer there are no symptoms and the condition is detected during tests for other unrelated conditions.

There is no reliable screening test for bladder or kidney cancer so being aware of signs and symptoms is paramount.

Councillor Rob Waltham, cabinet member for Health, Strategic Projects and Regeneration, said: “It isn’t worth taking the risk; if you have any symptoms of bladder or kidney cancer, visit your GP straightaway. It may not be anything to worry about but at least you will have that peace of mind. Don’t think you are wasting anyone’s time, it is always best to get checked.

“Having blood in your urine is the most common symptom, so if you notice this please make sure you do something about it.”