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Government campaign raises numbers of kidney cancer diagnoses

Government officials are re-releasing a national ‘Blood in Pee’ cancer awareness campaign later this year after a regional pilot campaign showed that it tripled GP visits for blood in urine and boosted urological cancer diagnoses by a fifth.

The ‘Blood in Pee’ campaign, part of the Government’s flagship health campaign ‘Be Clear On Cancer’ awareness raising programme, involved publicity targeted at the over-50s around the tagline, ‘If you notice blood in your pee, even if it’s just the once, tell your doctor straight away.’ The campaign was run throughout the national media over the last months of 2014 after an original pilot run from January to March.

Results from the pilot, including the increased statistics for urological diagnoses, were unveiled this week at the National Cancer Intelligence Network conference in Birmingham. They showed there was a 20% increase in people visiting the GP for blood in their urine during the campaign period, and a further 19% increase in urgent referrals for suspected urological cancers.

Overall, the increase in awareness and consequent referrals mean that there were up to 48% more bladder and kidney cancer diagnoses made.

Dr Ivan Camphor, medical secretary, said that the campaign’s success deserved praise, adding, “It’s great news in that it shows what real potential there is in primary care to do some good work to provide early detection and prevention – and that’s to be applauded.”

He echoed some of the criticism the campaign results had received, mentioning that GP’s were already under pressure and were expected to receive a heavier workload as a result of the campaigns. “You can’t expect general practice to keep delivering at the level the Government expects. Healthcare funds have been reduced and we’ve been asked to do more. You can’t run on more for less and expect to have quality all the time.”

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