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Often, conditions like bladder cancer and kidney cancer aren’t diagnosed until later because the symptoms are stigmatised and ‘taboo’ amongst patients.
Currently, the survival rates for both conditions are below what they should be – something which has sparked a popular campaign by the Government and which has been backed by famous Premier League footballers in a bid to raise awareness of symptoms and get conditions like bladder cancer and kidney cancer diagnosed earlier.
Four Premier League football clubs – Liverpool, West Ham United, Southampton and West Bromwich Albion have ‘clubbed’ together to provide support behind the Public Health England campaign to increase awareness, especially in men.
Jay Rodriguez is a Southampton FC forward, scoring 68 goals during his two year term at the club, said. “As a footballer, I am always keeping an eye on my health, and we want our fans and their loved ones to do the same. If you notice something unusual, like blood in your pee, you should always go straight to your doctor. That’s why I’m supporting the Be Clear on Cancer campaign, to raise awareness amongst fans of the signs of bladder and kidney cancer.”
Public Health England research has found that a staggering 43% of people would wait until they saw blood in their pee for at least a second time before they contacted their GP.
Professor Kevin Fenton is the national director of health and wellbeing at the Public Health England organisation and said, “This campaign encourages those who notice blood in their pee to go to their doctor straight away – bladder and kidney cancers are more treatable if they are found early.”
Over 17,000 people are diagnosed with either bladder cancer or kidney cancer every year. The campaign, which also ran last year, found that 127 more bladder cancers and 116 more kidney cancers were discovered as a result of the awareness raised.
Dr Anant Sachdev is a GP who is involved within the Be Clear On Cancer advertising. Sachdev stated, “It’s very straightforward for your doctor to examine you and decide whether to arrange further tests. If your doctor suspects it might be bladder or kidney cancer, you will be urgently referred to a hospital and they will then organise the tests, and, if necessary, treatment. You will either get reassurance that what you have isn’t cancer, or if it is, you will have a better chance of successful treatment. You’re not wasting anyone’s time by getting your symptoms checked out – it’s probably nothing serious but don’t ignore the symptoms or put off a trip to the doctor.”