Bladder Cancer – Signs & Symptoms

If you live in the U.K, you may well of seen the #bloodinpee campaign, which was run by the PHE, Public Health England and the NHS, in July 2018. This is the fourth time that this campaign had been run and the message that they want to get across is that if you see blood in your pee, even if it is only once, then go to your Doctor. Early diagnosis saves lives!

With the tagline of “look before you flush“. Its aim is to get us more aware of our pee and to know what it looks like on a normal day.  Is it more orangey? Does it smell? Does it look like there is blood in there?  Lets be honest, how many of us do check our pee on a daily basis?  Or is that just “yet another” thing we are being told to start checking?

Does your pee look like this? If so, go straight to the Doctors!

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Over 10,000 people each year in the UK, get diagnosed with Bladder Cancer, and taking statistics from Fight Bladder Cancer website, it is the 5th most common cancer within the western world. So why aren’t we talking about this? What is it about pee that makes us embarrassed? Why are we sticking our heads in the ground and not paying attention? I have absolutely no idea.

A few years ago, Bladder Cancer was thought to be “an old man’s disease” as it appeared more predominately in males over 60, however due to lifestyles choices and possible environmental factors, more and more young Men, Women and Children are now being diagnosed.  Lets get on thing clear shall we, Bladder Cancer is a Killer Fact!  Once you are diagnosed, you have a 50% chance of survival, 50%!  Thats like the flip of a coin, are you going to die or are you going to live?

This Cancer costs the NHS, the most amount of money, out of all the cancers, due to its recurrence rates. People with Bladder Cancer are at the highest risk of it returning, and will often be monitored for the rest of their lives.

Women tend to be misdiagnosed, as Doctors often go down the “gynaecological route’ first and then by the time it is found, it has usually spread.  We need to start asking “Could this be Bladder Cancer?” as early diagnosis does indeed save lives! In fact, if you are diagnosed early you will then have an 80% chance of surviving, hence why it is so important to go to your Doctors as soon as you see blood in your pee or have any of the symptoms that I shall write about.

Sometimes there just aren’t any signs or symptoms!

We all need to take responsibility for our health, and not dismiss things. I know we all lead very busy lives, and sometimes it hards to get an Doctors appointment, juggling working and parenthood, however this is your life we are talking about. Work will always be there and to be honest, if a company isn’t that bothered about your health, then I personally, wouldn’t work for them.  You are always replaceable at work, however you are irreplaceable at home!

Signs & Symptoms of Bladder Cancer

Blood in your pee – this can be microscopic, unseen by the human eye, or it could be as red as claret, any blood in your pee needs checking out.

Peeing more frequent/painful peeing – pain is your bodies way of telling you  that something is wrong, pay attention, and even if you feel a bit silly about going to the Doctors, it is always best to get it checked out.

Ongoing UTI’s – if you are constantly getting infections, and they don’t seem to be clearing up, no matter how many antibiotics you are given, ask your Doctor for more tests, ask him/her if they think there is a problem.  A consultant recently told me that they consider 3-4 infections a year, a good reason to do some investigations.

Lower back pain/kidney pain – Again, any pain that you are having, should be checked out.

Tiredness/fatigue – if you have noticed that you are needing more naps just to get through the day, then something isn’t right. It could be a vitamin deficiency, see your Doctor.

Weight loss – Most Doctors use weight loss to indicate a sign of Cancer. This did not happen to me, or to many others I have spoken to. Any weight loss indicates that something isn’t right.

Swelling in the lower legs – Again indicates something isn’t right, usually sweeping happens when the Bladder Cancer has spread.

Bone Pain – If the cancer has spread it is likely that you could get bone pain.

IF YOU HAVE ANY OF THE ABOVE SYMPTOMS, I URGE YOU TO GO TO YOUR DOCTOR AND GET CHECKED OUT! 

http://www.fightbladdercancer.co.uk & wwwbladdercancer.net are both amazing sites, with information on being newly diagnosed, what to expect? And patient experiences.  If you are worried then please contact either site for more information.