Professor Kevin Fenton, Director of Health and Wellbeing at Public Health England, said:
“Receiving an early diagnosis increases the chance of survival for the 16,600 people who are diagnosed with bladder or kidney cancer every year in England.
“Our message is clear – as soon as you spot blood in your pee, visit the GP. It’s probably nothing serious but it could also be a sign of something else that needs treatment, so don’t ignore the symptoms or put off a trip to the doctor.”
The Be Clear on Cancer campaign will see new national adverts running on TV, print and radio from today (15 October) until 20 November. As well as face-to-face events taking place across England, West Bromwich Albion has thrown its support behind the campaign.
The Barclays Premier League side is piloting thermochromic urinals in their stadium to help raise awareness of blood in pee as a potential symptom of bladder and kidney cancers. Heat reactive material has been installed in urinals in the stadium’s East stand – when used, the material will turn red.
Chief Medical Officer Professor Dame Sally Davies said:
“Too many people are dying unnecessarily from bladder and kidney cancers because they don’t know the symptoms to look out for that could save their lives. That is why this new Be Clear on Cancer campaign is so important.
“Getting people diagnosed early is a crucial part of this government’s drive to have cancer services amongst the best in the world and save an extra 5,000 lives every year by 2014.”
Sean Duffy, National Clinical Director for Cancer at NHS England, said:
“Over the last 10 years we have seen the incidence rate of kidney cancer increase by 31% which is a substantial climb and largely down to unhealthy lifestyles. Although survival rates have been improving, this rise in cases has led to an increase in the number of deaths from the disease.
“As an increasing number of people are affected by kidney cancer, it’s important that the public are aware of the early signs to look out for, such as blood in pee. Only then will we see an increase in early diagnosis rates and a further positive impact on England’s survival rate. Currently, around 1,000 deaths from bladder and kidney cancer could be avoided in England each year if survival rates matched the best in Europe.”
Peter Andre, who lost his brother to kidney cancer in 2012 said:
“My entire family and I were devastated when my brother Andrew died of kidney cancer last year. Getting kidney cancer diagnosed and treated earlier can save your life, which is why this Be Clear on Cancer campaign is so important. I can’t urge you enough, if you spot blood in your pee, even if it’s just the once, visit your GP as soon as possible.”