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World Bladder Cancer Day – warning signs to be aware of

Photo of Silas Nicholls and Alison Birtle holding an orange campaign t-shirt

Today is World Bladder Cancer Day, the final day of May, which is also Bladder Cancer Awareness Month.

Every year, over 610,000 people are diagnosed with bladder cancer, and 1.9m people find themselves living with the condition.

It is the ninth most commonly diagnosed cancer and the 13th cause of death from cancer globally, yet bladder cancer is often referred to as the “Cinderella” or “forgotten cancer”, as it has often been overlooked in terms of research funding, resources, and support.

So today is a great opportunity to start conversations that raise awareness about bladder cancer, by highlighting the symptoms and overcoming any barriers to seeking medical advice.

Bladder Cancer is highly-treatable, and a timely diagnosis significantly increases the chance of long-term survival and quality of life – but survival rates have not improved in the UK over the last 20 years.

There are 20,700 new cases in the UK each year, and it affects all ages and sexes, indeed, a quarter of patients are women.

Smoking is the single biggest risk factor for bladder cancer - tobacco contains carcinogenic chemicals which, if you smoke for many years, pass into your bloodstream and are filtered by the kidneys into your urine.

Blood in the urine is the most important warning sign of bladder cancer to watch out for, along with recurrent urinary tract infections, and a frequent need to urinate.

Those symptoms, however, may not immediately be seen as linked to bladder cancer, and can be mistaken for other conditions, causing bladder cancer to be overlooked.

We need to empower our communities with information and support to face the challenge head on, ensuring no one faces this journey alone – something which the World Bladder Cancer Patient Coalition advocates, by building a strong community of bladder cancer patient advocates around the world

Below a brief video on what is a hugely-important subject, as Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Chief Executive Silas Nicholls speaks of the importance of checking for symptoms, introduced by Professor Alison Birtle, Consultant Oncologist with the Trust’s Rosemere Cancer Centre.

Get in touch

Chorley and South Ribble Hospital

Preston Road



01257 261222

Royal Preston Hospital

Sharoe Green Lane




01772 716565

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