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July is Bladder Cancer Awareness Month, and as such the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre want to raise awareness for the disease in women.
Bladder cancer is a disease which is typically associated with men, with many people calling it ‘the one for the males’ – something which the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre is trying to discourage.
Although 75% of patients with the disease are male, a good 25% of patients are female, and charities are rallying for awareness of the cancer within women – making them aware of what signs and symptoms to look for.
Dr Syed Hussain said: “There are 10,000 new cases of bladder cancer recorded every year in the UK, but one promising statistic is that eight out of ten patients are diagnosed with early stage cancer. This highlights the importance of understanding what to look out for as the earlier any kind of cancer is diagnoses, the better the outlook for the patient.”
Women often find it harder to know that something is out of the ordinary as they usually confuse symptoms of bladder cancer with menstrual cramps or urinary tract infections. If they do think that something is wrong, it takes a lot to see a doctor as most people consider the symptoms to be taboo.
The most common symptom of bladder cancer in either gender is blood in the urine. Other symptoms in conjunction can include a burning sensation when passing urine or the need to use the toilet more often. With any of these symptoms, it’s best to see a doctor as soon as you can, as although they could mean different things like infections or kidney problems, leaving the situation to evolve could result in a late diagnosis.
Smoking has recently been shown to cause bladder cancer, with one in three cases of the disease being attributed to the chemicals within cigarettes. Chemicals within the cigarette are inhaled when alight, filtered by the kidneys and then end up in the urine, which over a period of time, causes damage to the bladder, causing cancer.
The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre is one of the largest cancer centres in the UK, treating over 30,000 patients a year and offering pioneering chemotherapy, radiotherapy and is the single place throughout the UK to offer proton therapy treatments.