By Lucy Ashton
Jackie Baillie is supporting calls to create awareness around bladder cancer symptoms in a bid to save lives.
May is Bladder Cancer Awareness month and this year, UK charity ‘Fight Bladder Cancer’ aims to break the stigma around symptoms deemed ‘embarrassing’ by patients to promote early diagnosis and save lives.
Their Don’t Go Red, Go to a Doctor slogan is aimed at ensuring people know finding blood in their urine could mean cancer and making contact with your GP at an early stage could save your life.
Around 21,181 people are diagnosed with invasive and non-invasive bladder cancer in the UK every year with bladder cancer being the 5th most common cancer in the western world. For men, it is the 4th most common.
However, it currently receives just one percent of cancer research funding in the UK despite the high number of people diagnosed.
A timely diagnosis offers a significant increase in the chance of long-term survival and quality of life.
Often deemed the ‘forgotten cancer,’ it is likely that the lack of awareness of how common the disease is, is part of the reason so many people feel embarrassed to talk about their symptoms and experiences.
By ensuring early diagnosis and seeking medical advice and care, the survival rate for bladder cancer can be up to 90%, but late diagnosis leads to poorer outcomes.
Jackie Baillie, Dumbarton constituency MSP, right, said: “It is extremely concerning to learn that funding into the research of bladder cancer is so insignificant in comparison with the number of people who are diagnosed.
“It is important that we talk about the symptoms and that people aren’t afraid to go to their GP if they are passing blood.
“I am happy to support Bladder Cancer Awareness month to help create awareness of this disease and applaud the charity Fight Bladder Cancer for their efforts to break the stigma around what are deemed embarrassing symptoms as speaking up about them could save your life.”
Clinical Nurse Specialist of Urology, Kathleen MacKenzie said: “Many people ignore the symptom of blood in the urine as they don’t think it is relevant. This is not always due to embarrassment. It can be due to a combination of a genuine fear they are wasting everyone’s time, as well the intimate nature of things.”