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Islanders reminded to be vigilant about bladder cancer

25 May 2017

​Islanders who are worried about blood in their urine or urine infections are being urged not to be embarrassed and seek help from their GP.
The message comes as Bladder Cancer Awareness month continues in May, and Islanders are being reminded that bladder cancer and other less serious urinary conditions can be successfully treated, especially if they are caught early.
Bladder cancer is the 7th most common cancer in the UK, and is 3 to 4 times more common in men than women.
In Jersey approximately 50 to 60 bladder cancer related operations are carried out per year, with 20 to 30 Islanders diagnosed each year with bladder cancer.
In 2014, 10,063 cases of it were diagnosed in the UK and 5,369 deaths in UK resulted from it.
Jersey’s consultant urologist, Mr Ben Hughes said "It pays to be vigilant. We would urge anyone who has seen blood in their urine to make an appointment with their GP so that they can have some fairly simple investigations if appropriate. There is no need to be embarrassed. We want everyone to have peace of mind and your GP will never be embarrassed about personal issues such as this. If you’re worried, make that appointment."
Risks which can increase the chances of getting bladder cancer are:
• smoking
• increasing age
• exposure to certain industrial chemicals
• family history of bladder cancer
Symptoms can include:
• blood in the urine
• new onset frequency and urgency in passing urine
• pelvic Pain/difficulty when passing urine
• frequent urinary infections

Mr Hughes continued "The vast majority of bladder cancers are treatable and curable if detected early but ignoring initial symptoms could result in the cancer invading the muscle layer of the bladder and further spread, meaning no cure is possible. Hence any blood seen in your urine means you should see your GP immediately. Please do. If your GP is concerned, you will be referred to the Urology Department and we will investigate further."
In Jersey, the Urology department at the Hospital offers prompt telescopic examination of the bladder, which is the gold standard of detection.

Ultrasound and CT scanning are also used for staging and to determine other potential causes for the blood. The Department also has a specialist uro-oncology nurse who works closely with patients who are diagnosed with bladder cancer.

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