Bladder Cancer Awareness Month
May is Bladder Cancer Awareness month.
Action Bladder Cancer is part of a global group of bladder cancer organisations - the World Bladder Cancer Patient Coalition - who are working together to raise awareness of bladder cancer, the over-looked needs of patients and the need for action.
We shall be adding resources and information to our website and profiling aspects of bladder cancer and the support available on our social media during May.
If you would like to help spread the word, fundraise to support our much needed work or help as a volunteer - you can get in touch with us on firstname.lastname@example.org or on our facebook page.
Knowing the symptoms of bladder cancer is very important - it can often be diagnosed late. Our Symptoms Guide is clear and easy to understand - if you notice anything unusual, do get it checked out, don't delay...
ABC UK Bladder Cancer Symptoms Guide - pass this on, help others to know what to look out for and when to take action
ABC UK Top 10 Tips Primary Care - a guide for GPs to assist with earlier diagnosis of bladder cancer
All of our resources are available on our Resources page as downloads or if you would like printed copies of any of our resources you can order them using our online order form or contact us on email@example.com or 0300 302 0085
Awareness of the symptoms and getting a diagnosis, and treatment, as early as possible is very important. Many patients tell of the delay in getting diagnosed.
Read about how Caroline was diagnosed
Caroline Raw, 51, was diagnosed with bladder cancer after noticing small amounts of blood in her urine. Caroline chose to have a cystectomy (bladder removal). Caroline has two grown-up children and now helps care for her partner Jonny's teenage son:
I first noticed something in the middle of May this year. There were two tiny spots of blood, the size of a pin head, on the paper. I'd had an operation to remove the lining of my womb two years before, so I just thought it might be related to that and didn't think anything more of it. A couple of weeks later, when I was out with friends during the Bank Holiday weekend, I went to the toilet and noticed blood on the paper again, along with a streak of blood in my urine.
I went to see my doctor straight away and gave a urine sample so that it could be tested for blood, but it came back clear. I was also given a physical examination, but my doctor told me that the symptoms were probably related to my operation and I was asked to monitor my symptoms for three months to see if they formed a pattern. Just two days later, I noticed blood again, so I went back to the practice and saw another doctor. A second urine sample came back clear, so I was asked to monitor my symptoms for a month. Over the next four weeks I noticed very small amounts of blood on two occasions but when I returned to my doctors, a third urine sample again showed no sign of blood.In the meantime, I was referred to a gynaecologist through private healthcare. I was sent for an ultrasound and it was then that an abnormal growth on the lining of my bladder, known as a polyp, was discovered. I do think that if I hadn't been persistent with my worries I may have been diagnosed at a much later stage and the cancer could have been more difficult to treat.
As a woman, you get used to bleeding. I hadn't had any pain and I didn't lose weight. Everything else was normal. So many women, particularly my age, would have done nothing. They would have taken the doctor's advice and left it three months to see if there was a pattern. That's what you want to be told so you believe it. I want to tell women not to accept symptoms as gynaecological. The chances are that it won't be cancer, but if you can catch it early, it can be treated more easily. Cancer is scary, but the thought of getting it is probably more scary than dealing with it.
TRACEY EMIN AND HER BLADDER CANCER
The world-renowned artist, Tracey Emin, was diagnosed with bladder cancer in the Spring of 2020, when she was 57.
Her surgery, over that summer, resulted in removal of her bladder and several adjacent organs. She is now in remission, and living with a stoma bag.
Her recent art has reflected her experience of living with cancer.
We would like to thank Tracey for giving Action Bladder Cancer UK one of her drawings - which you can see below - to help ABC UK raise awareness of bladder cancer and the importance of earlier diagnosis - this powerful image shows Tracey with her stoma bag.
Tracey has spoken freely and very honestly about her cancer, her recovery and life after her surgery. You can read some of her thoughts in the articles below:
Whilst patients usually go on to lead active lives with a urostomy, it is major, life-changing, surgery and patients can experience issues as they adapt to life after a cystectomy.
You can read tips and hints from other people who are living with a urostomy in our ABC UK Information Sheet here: LIVING WITH A UROSTOMY PATIENT TIPS 2020.pdf
If you are at the stage in your treatment of being faced with the decision to have a cystectomy (your bladder removed), you may find the ABC UK Patient Decision Aid helpful: ABCUK PATIENT DECISION AID JAN 2022.pdf
You can also contact us and ask for print copies of these leaflets, or any of our other patient information materials.
ABC UK BLADDER CANCER AWARENESS POSTERS
The earlier bladder cancer is diagnosed the more likely the person concerned will have a better outcome - it is vital that we work to raise awareness of the symptoms of bladder cancer and the needs of those who have it.
We have two ABC UK Awareness posters - one raising awareness of the symptoms of bladder cancer, and one with Tracey's drawing.
You can download these posters below or contact us for print copies on firstname.lastname@example.org
ABC UK Bladder Cancer Symptoms Awareness poster: BLADDER CANCER SYMPTOMS A4 POSTER_MAY 2022_WEB LINKED.pdf
ABC UK Bladder Cancer Awareness Poster Tracey Emin Image: TRACEY EMIN A4 POSTER PART OF ME_PRINT FRIENDLY NO TRIM.pdf
Read a Q&A with ABC UK Chief Executive about bladder cancer and Awareness Month in The Waiting Room - A collection of health information for the general public