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People urged to know the signs of bladder and kidney cancer after 200 deaths in Suffolk and north Essex in 2013

12:58 16 February 2016

Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust has been ranked in the worst performing hospitals in the UK for its cancer referrals

Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust has been ranked in the worst performing hospitals in the UK for its cancer referrals

Katarzyna Bialasiewicz photographee.eu

More than 200 people died from bladder and kidney cancers in Suffolk and north Essex in 2013, new figures have revealed.

Dr Simon RudlandDr Simon Rudland

More than 200 people died from bladder and kidney cancers in Suffolk and north Essex in 2013, new figures have revealed.

It has prompted a renewed appeal for people to ‘Be Clear on Cancer’ and not to ignore blood in urine.

The figures, the most recent available, were released by NHS England today as part of its annual Be Clear on Cancer campaign to raise awareness of the symptoms of kidney and bladder cancer, and urging people not to ignore blood in their urine.

In Suffolk, 252 people were diagnosed with either kidney or bladder cancer in 2013, and 110 people lost their battles, while in north Essex – in the Colchester, Braintree and Tendring areas – 172 were diagnosed and 80 died.

Across the east of England in the same period, more than 900 people lost their lives as a result of the two diseases.

This week, NHS England revealed having blood in urine is a main symptom in 53% of bladder cancer cases, and almost a fifth in kidney cancer cases on average.

Dr Simon Rudland, partner GP at Stowhealth in Stowmarket, said: “The key thing for us as GPs is we want to spot and diagnose cancers as early as possible. Part of that requires us to be vigilant as doctors, but also patients presenting symptoms to us.

“If you have got blood in your urine, particularly if there is no pain, there’s likely to be something not right. You can get blood in your urine for a urinary tract infection or for kidney stones, but if there’s no pain that’s a bit more worrying and we would always investigate that further.

“We want patients to help professionals by reporting abnormal symptoms early. It gives us a much better chance of making an early diagnosis.

“If we are trying to help identify cancers early we have got to work with patients together to try and achieve that.

“That’s about our patient population being more aware of abnormal symptoms and us being in a position to respond to that.”

The latest figures show that in the east of England, around 2,162 people are diagnosed with bladder and kidney cancer each year, with 1,523 men and 639 women affected, and that approximately 932 people die from these cancers annually.

Nationally, around 17,450 people in England are diagnosed with either bladder or kidney cancer every year, and being able to spot the symptoms and gain an early diagnosis can drastically increase a person’s chances of survival.

According to NHS England, for those diagnosed at the earliest stage (stage 1) the likelihood of surviving five years or more can be as high as 84% for kidney cancer and 77% for bladder cancer. However, for those diagnosed at a late stage survival can be as low as 10% for kidney cancer and 9% for bladder cancer.

Tony Goldson, cabinet member for health at Suffolk County Council, said: “This campaign aims to raise awareness of bladder and kidney cancer as early diagnosis of cancer can save lives.

“More than nine out of 10 cases of bladder and kidney cancer occur in people aged 50 and over, but whatever your age, if you see blood in your pee it always needs to be checked out by your doctor and not ignored.

“There were 253 cases of bladder and kidney cancer across Suffolk in 2013 and 110 deaths. We can decrease the number of deaths if people are diagnosed earlier.

“However, we can also prevent some of these cancers occurring. Smokers have a much higher risk of developing these cancers with nearly four in 10 bladder cancers and one in four kidney cancers estimated to be caused by smoking.

“Being overweight or obese is also a risk... a healthy lifestyle decreases your risk of developing cancer.”

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