Awareness and understanding of urological cancers and conditions lags far behind other areas such as heart disease, diabetes and lung cancer. This can have a significant impact on patients and their families resulting in delays in seeking help, poorer outcomes and reduced quality of life. Furthermore, the taboo and embarrassment around many of these conditions means that historically not enough has been done to raise awareness.
The Urology Foundation is committed to changing this.
- Urinary tract infections in children
- Lower urinary tract infection in non-pregnant women under 65
- Tackling urinary incontinence
September is Urology Awareness Month, an annual campaign dedicated to increasing public awareness, knowledge and understanding of urological cancers and conditions. Throughout the month, The Urology Foundation and the wider urology community come together to talk about symptoms, treatment, risk factors, prevention and the latest research. It is an opportunity to educate, learn and share experiences.
Urology Awareness Month 2023 will focus on Bladder Health and specifically Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs). At least 50% of all women will develop a UTI at some stage. Sadly, an estimated 1 million women in the UK live with chronic UTIs with many unaware that more than three infections in a year requires further investigation. In men, infections may be less frequent but more complex, sometimes associated with infection and inflammation of the prostate gland (prostatitis).
UTIs are a significant cause of mortality, especially amongst the elderly population, with UTI related symptoms accounting for between 1-3% of all primary care consultations and 13.7% of community antibiotic prescriptions.
Our key message which primary care nurses are well place to deliver is that early treatment of UTI can help to prevent infection spreading to the bladder, prostate or kidneys. Repeat infections should be referred for investigation.
Another area in which we wish to raise awareness is urinary incontinence. This common condition affects an estimated 6 million men and women in the UK.
There are several types of urinary incontinence with multiple causative factors. Determining the type of incontinence and underlying cause is necessary for successful treatment. It is important for clinicians to stress that incontinence is a treatable condition with a variety of management options available.
Too many people have suffered in silence and lives have been ruined or lost through the embarrassment around these conditions. We want to offer clinicians an patients the support to begin to reverse this trend, and treat these conditions effectively.
Mary Garthwaite, Former Consultant Urological Surgeon, and Chair of The Urology Foundation