Check for blood in urine, urges kidney cancer campaign

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

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.

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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