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NHS to issue blood in urine cancer warnings in men’s toilets

Urinal mats in men’s public toilets to carry cancer warnings to increase early detection of the disease

This awareness campaign follows recent NHS England research which revealed nearly half of men (49%) did not know blood appearing in urine was a cancer symptom. The survey also found that more than a third of men (39%) would wait for a recurrence of the symptom before visiting a doctor.

The urinal mats will carry a message urging men to seek help if they notice blood in their urine, which can be a symptom of bladder, kidney or prostate cancer.

‘Having blood in your pee – even just once – shouldn’t be ignored because it can be a sign of cancer, so it needs to be checked out by your GP team,’ said Professor Peter Johnson, NHS England national clinical director for cancer.

‘While this initiative is about helping men to spot the signs of cancer, everyone needs to be more aware – please look for any changes that may be unusual for you – and get checked out early, it could save your life,’ he said.

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Passing blood in urine is a common symptom of prostate cancer, the most common cancer amongst men. But it can also be a marker of bladder or kidney cancer which are among the ten most prevalent cancers in the country, and generally affect men more than women.

Other common symptoms include urinating very often, sudden urges to urinate, a burning sensation while urinating, a lump or swelling in the back, under the ribs, or in the neck, and pain in the side between the ribs and the hip.

Prostate cancer patient Michael Sloane, 67, from Buckinghamshire, said the initiative was ‘an important way to ensure men get the message that if they have blood in their pee, they really need to get it checked out.’

NHS England aims to diagnose three quarters of all cancers at stage one or two by 2028. Plans to achieve this long-term goal include the rollout of a blood test which could detect up to 50 cancers before symptoms appear and launch of lung health checks by 2029 to detect lung cancer earlier.