GP Care is working with Avon, Somerset and Wiltshire Cancer Services (ASWCS) Cancer Network to raise awareness of patients/the public of the significance of visible blood in urine. The objective is to deliver a clear and concise message advising of the benefits of being tested, raising awareness that blood in urine can be a symptom of either bladder cancer or kidney cancer, and that early diagnosis can save lives.
The ASWCS Cancer Network covers six Primary Care Trusts (3 clusters) and six acute Trusts across Somerset, North Somerset, the west of Wiltshire, Bath, South Gloucester and Bristol.
The National Awareness and Early Diagnosis Initiative (NAEDI) was announced in the Cancer Reform Strategy (2007) as part of the plan to diagnose cancer earlier in order to improve treatment and outcomes for cancer patients. Since then, the Department of Health has funded several rounds of national and local initiatives which have been supported by the Network. Successful Network projects include projects on prevention and early detection of skin cancer, lung cancer and bowel cancer. ASWCS has successfully bid against the latest funding round for a local “Blood in Urine” project.
The project has been funded in two parts: the first is a media project which will be led by the communication teams within the network PCTs and will cover the whole of the Network area. The second is funding for local projects in the area covered by ASWCS which will be undertaken by GP Care. The two parts of the project will be expected to work together and complement each other.
Researchers have calculated that, if England’s survival rates were as good as the best in Europe, we would save 10,000 additional lives per year. This is broken down by tumour site, which is set out below:
- Breast 2000
- Myeloma 250
- Colorectal 1700
- Endometrial 250
- Lung 1300
- Leukaemia 240
- Oesophagogastric 950
- Brain 225
- Kidney 700
- Melanoma 190
- Ovary 500
- Cervix 180
- NHL/HD 370
- Oral/larynx 170
- Bladder 290
- Pancreas 75
Blood in urine can be a symptom of either bladder cancer or kidney cancer, and it is estimated that together earlier diagnosis of this symptom will together save almost 1000 lives.
Often, people will ignore the symptom of blood in urine, hoping it will disappear, or assuming it is an infection that will clear up. In most cases, it is nothing to worry about, but blood in urine, should always be checked with a GP.
Deprivation and Inequalities
Whilst the South West is generally considered as a “healthy, wealthy” part of the UK, there are high levels of relative and actual deprivation in parts of Bristol and some of the rural areas within the 6 PCTs.
This links to the known risk factors for bladder and kidney cancers which are: smoking, industrial chemicals such as hair dyes, diabetes and a high body mass index (BMI).
There is also a challenge in getting health messages to people who do not have English as a first language, have poor language skills and motivation or who have difficulty in accessing medical or health services.
Data from the South West Public Health Observatory (SWPHO) indicates a correlation between areas of high socio-economic deprivation and bladder cancer for both incidence and mortality. The SWPHO data also shows that unlike other areas of England, 5 year survival for bladder cancer in women across the six PCTs continues to decline.
For further information please call GP Care's Urology Service Manager on 0845 649 2100 or email us at email@example.com.