Check for blood in urine, urges kidney cancer campaign

Be Clear on Cancer campaign West Bromwich Albion midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu and referee Dave Nixon are supporting the campaign

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If you see blood in your urine, even if it is just once, it could be a sign of cancer, a public health campaign warns.

Kidney cancer diagnoses have risen by a third in the past 10 years in England.

And the death toll has increased by 7%, with about 3,500 people dying from kidney cancer in England in 2011.

Public Health England (PHE) says the rise is linked to unhealthy lifestyles - smoking and obesity both raise the risk of kidney cancer - but early diagnosis could drive down death rates.

Possible warning signs of cancer

  • Blood in urine
  • Needing to urinate very often or suddenly
  • Pain while urinating
  • Pain below the ribs that doesn't go away
  • A lump in your stomach

When kidney cancer is diagnosed at the earliest stage, the one-year survival rate is close to 97%, compared with about 32% at a late stage.

Visible blood in the urine is a symptom in more than 80% of bladder cancer patients and in most of those with kidney cancer.

However, when asked to name cancer signs and symptoms, only a third of people mention unexplained bleeding, according to PHE.

Prof Kevin Fenton, PHE director of health and wellbeing, said: "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."

Premier League football club West Bromwich Albion is backing the campaign.

It is testing special heat-sensitive urinals in its stadium that, when used, display the words: "If you notice blood in your pee, even if it's just once, tell your doctor."

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