Nurses encourage people to check their pee
It’s Urology Awareness month and specialist nurses at Airedale Hospital are supporting this and the national Be Clear on Cancer ‘Blood in Pee’ campaign by encouraging everyone to ‘look before they flush’ and visit their GP without delay if they notice blood in their pee, even if it’s just once.
A new survey reveals that only 16% of adults aged 50 and over in England (those most at risk of these cancers) say they check the colour of their pee every time they go to the toilet, with women being less likely to check every time (12% versus 20% of men).
Blood might not appear every time, so it is important that people seek medical help even if they notice it just once. Worryingly, around half (47%) of those surveyed said they would not seek medical advice if they saw blood in their pee just once, with 45% saying they would wait and see if it happened again, potentially putting off a vital diagnosis.
When asked why they would not go to the GP straight away, one in five (20%) say they would be worried about wasting the GP’s time and nearly a quarter (23%) would only book an appointment sooner if they had other symptoms.
At Airedale Hospital all suspected cancer patients are given an appointment within two weeks of their GP referral. The trust also runs a number of services for patients diagnosed or suspecting urological cancer, including a rapid access prostate assessment clinic and a haematuria clinic. The trust also has a team of specialist urology cancer nurse specialists who support patients throughout their treatment.
Nona Toothill, Specialist Urology Cancer Nurse at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust says:
“If blood is seen in the urine, even just one time, it is important to get this checked out. Your GP will send you to Airedale Hospital where two tests will be done. One test looks into the bladder and the other uses a scan to see the kidneys and bladder. These tests will show us if there is a reason for the bleeding that needs treatment.”
A new short film featuring TV doctor Dr Dawn Harper has also been released as part of the campaign. The film shows what to look out for as the colour of blood in your pee can vary – from very diluted to bright red or even dark brown, like the colour of weak black tea. Blood in pee is a symptom in almost two thirds (64%) of all bladder cancers and around a fifth (18%) of kidney cancers and early detection is vital.