May is Bladder Cancer Awareness month and Martin Whitfield MSP is backing a charity’s campaign to help highlight the symptoms of bladder cancer and overcome any barriers to seeking medical advice.

Fight Bladder Cancer reports that one of the main barriers in the timely diagnosis of bladder cancer is related to the symptoms. Symptoms and how people respond to them can vary, especially as some symptoms are not immediately seen as linked to bladder cancer.

The discovery of blood in the pee, painful peeing, and irregular peeing can all be mistaken for other conditions, causing bladder cancer to be overlooked.

The charity’s campaign aims to bring attention to the misinterpretation of symptoms and encourage people to re-evaluate their symptoms, as what they thought they saw may be something different.
1700 people are diagnosed each year with invasive and non-invasive bladder cancer in the Scotland.

Five-year survival rates for bladder cancer in Scotland are the lowest in Europe, with rates of 53 per cent for men and 42 per cent for women. These survival rates have not changed or improved in over three decades.

Martin Whitfield MSP said:

“Bladder cancer is the fifth most common cancer in the western world, yet currently receives just one per cent of cancer research funding in the UK.

“A timely diagnosis offers a significant increase in the chance of long-term survival and quality of life. By ensuring early diagnosis and seeking medical advice and care, the survival rate for bladder cancer can be up to 90 per cent.

“It’s vital that people know bladder cancer symptoms and gets to their GP as soon as they appear. Early diagnosis is critical which is why I’m backing Fight Bladder Cancer’s campaign to raise awareness this May.”

Dr Lydia Makaroff, CEO of Fight Bladder Cancer said:

“Bladder cancer is more common than people think, and in many cases patients hear of bladder cancer for the first time when they receive their diagnosis. Bladder cancer can no longer remain the forgotten cancer because delays in diagnosis and treatment cost a life.

“Everyone who experiences these symptoms, especially if they see blood in their urine, should see a doctor.”

Find out more about Bladder Cancer Awareness Month and the work of Fight Bladder Cancer at