BLADDER cancer symptoms are triggered when its cells start dividing uncontrollably. Britons aren’t always checking for signs. Watch out for this symptom of bladder and kidney cancer that only 16 per cent of Britons check for.
Bladder cancer symptoms and signs can be easily missed because people don’t check the toilet.
Blood in pee is described as a “key symptom” of bladder and kidney cancer by Public Health England (PHE), but only 16 per cent of people “look before they flush”.
The government agency launched a campaign this week encouraging people to “check the colour of their pee every time they go to the toilet”.
Professor Julia Verne, from PHE, said it is “vital” that people check the toilet.
“Our research shows only a small number of people check the colour of their pee every time they go to the toilet. People need to get into the habit of looking before they flush to spot any signs of blood in their pee.”
The NHS listed blood in urine as the “most common symptom” of bladder cancer on their website, among others.
“The medical name for this is haematuria and it’s usually painless,” they continued.
“You may notice streaks of blood in your urine or the blood may turn your urine brown.
“It isn’t always noticeable and it may come and go.”
Less common symptoms of the cancer, listed by the NHS, include a need to urinate more frequently, sudden urges to urinate, and a burning sensation when passing urine.
Blood in pee is also a “main symptom” of kidney cancer, alongside a persistent pain in your lower side, a lump or swelling in your side, extreme tiredness, and other symptoms.
A survey by PHE found just 16 per cent of adults over 50 check their urine colour before flushing, with women being less likely to look than men.
However, changes in urine colour are a symptom in almost two thirds of bladder cancer cases and a fifth of kidney cancer cases.
Professor Chris Harrison, from NHS England, said: “The earlier people are diagnosed, the better their chances, which is why it is vital people understand what to look out for and when to visit the GP.
“This campaign has the important aim of helping raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of bladder and kidney cancer, and encouraging people to visit their GP after seeing blood in their pee.”
Other factors can also change urine colour, such as eating too much beetroot which turns urine purple.
One bladder cancer survivor noticed blood in her pee before going to the doctor.
“I knew something was wrong and made an appointment to see my doctor straight away,” said Geraldine Smith.
“He referred me to my hospital for tests which showed I had bladder cancer.
“I’m so glad I acted quickly because my cancer was caught early and just six months after my treatment, my husband and I went sailing around Britain, something I never thought would be possible.”
She added her regular appointments have now being ended due to excellent progress, which was a “huge relief”.