Give Bladder Cancer the Red Card
Renowned hurling manager, championship goalkeeper and TV personality Davy Fitzgerald has teamed up with the Marie Keating Foundation to highlight the warning signs of bladder cancer.
Blood in urine is the most common indicator of this disease, which kills 2,221 people each year in Ireland. The Foundation recommends a colour code for bladder health: if you see red (blood) in yellow (urine) go (green) to your doctor immediately.
Launching the campaign, Davy Fitzgerald said: “I've had my fair share of red cards, but one red I never want to see is blood in my urine. With far more men affected by bladder cancer than women, knowing the warning signs of bladder cancer can save lives.
"We all need to watch our health as we get older, so if you ever see blood in your urine or have any other concerns make sure you don’t ignore them. Get it checked even just for peace of mind.”
May marks bladder cancer awareness month and the Give Bladder Cancer the Red Card! campaign aims to encourage men – who are three times more likely to be diagnosed than women – to know the signs and get help if needed. Over three quarters of those diagnosed (78%) are over the age of 65, and smoking increases the risk of bladder cancer.
Warning signs include:
Professor Ray McDermott, Consultant Medical Oncologist, Tallaght Hospital and St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin said: “There are different types of bladder cancer, and different ways to treat or manage it. The key is to diagnose bladder cancer as early as possible, giving patients the best chance of survival and quality of life with less invasive treatments. That is why knowing the signs and risk factors are so important, anyone with concerns should speak to their doctor immediately.”
Five counties had 15% higher average number of bladder cancer cases than expected with Donegal found to have the highest number of cases per population size, followed by Sligo, Leitrim, Meath and Louth. This percentage was in comparison with national rates, based on population size and age-distribution within each county.
Liz Yeates, CEO of the Marie Keating Foundation, said: “Over the past year we have seen cancer services, screening and diagnosis disrupted across the board due to the pandemic. Bladder cancer rates have steadily increased year on year, and we want anyone with a family history of bladder cancer or who might be experiencing symptoms to be more aware of these changes in their bodies and to seek help. Taking action is key as bladder cancer can be treatable when caught early.”
The Marie Keating Foundation has created information resources including an infographic highlighting the signs of bladder cancer and a dedicated microsite. For more information on bladder cancer and to download the information materials, please visit www.mariekeating.ie/redcard/.
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