Bladder Cancer Awareness Month
May is Bladder Cancer Awareness month.
Action Bladder Cancer is part of a global group of bladder cancer organisations 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.