Peace of Mind campaign

You might have seen our Peace of Mind campaign on social media, or heard us on the local radio. At the South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Cancer Alliance, we are raising awareness of the early signs of cancer, and empowering people to see their GP without delay if they are experiencing these symptoms.

This ‘Peace of Mind’ approach shifts the focus from fearing the worst to understanding that seeing your GP promptly could provide information and answers that ease your worries. It assures people that even if the outcome is a cancer diagnosis, catching it early is better than waiting. Together, we're striving for peace of mind, knowing we're taking proactive steps to keep everyone healthy.

Read more about the Peace of Mind campaign here.

Bladder Cancer

Around 10,300 people are diagnosed with bladder cancer in the UK every year. It's the 11th most common cancer in the UK, and the 8th most common cancer in men*.

Bladder cancer is where a growth of abnormal tissue, known as a tumour, develops in the bladder lining. In some cases, the tumour spreads into the bladder muscle. Once diagnosed, bladder cancer can be classified by how far it has spread. If the cancerous cells are contained inside the lining of the bladder, doctors describe it as non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer (early bladder cancer). This is the most common type of bladder cancer.

When the cancerous cells spread beyond the lining, into the surrounding bladder muscle, it's referred to as muscle-invasive bladder cancer (or invasive bladder cancer). This is less common but has a higher chance of spreading to other parts of the body. If bladder cancer has spread to other parts of the body, it's known as advanced or metastatic bladder cancer.

More details on ovarian cancer can be found below.

Symptoms of bladder cancer

Blood in your urine is the most common symptom of bladder cancer.

The medical name for blood in your urine is haematuria and it's usually painless. You may notice streaks of blood in your urine or the blood may turn your urine brown. The blood isn't always noticeable and it may come and go.

Less common symptoms of bladder cancer include:

  • a need to urinate on a more frequent basis
  • sudden urges to urinate
  • a burning sensation when passing urine


If bladder cancer reaches an advanced stage and has spread, symptoms can include:


If you have blood in your urine – even if it comes and goes – you should visit your GP, so the cause can be investigated.

Having blood in your urine doesn't mean you definitely have bladder cancer. There are other, more common, causes including:

Making an appointment with your GP

If you are experiencing these symptoms, or notice anything unusual for you, please don't hesitate to see your GP or practice nurse, even if you're concerned about what your symptoms might be.

It's important to see you doctor if you notice blood in your urine. Most people with these symptoms don't have bladder cancer. They are more likely to be caused by other conditions such as a urine infection.

You won't be wasting yours or your doctor’s time. If there is something more serious wrong like cancer, the earlier it's picked up the more likely it can be treated successfully.

Keep persisting to secure an appointment, as addressing your worry is crucial and unlikely to go away without seeking professional help.

Conversations with your GP are confidential, and you should not be embarrassed to share your symptoms with them – they are used to discussing intimate problems and will try to put you at ease.

Causes of bladder cancer

Bladder cancer is caused by changes to the cells of the bladder. It's often linked with exposure to certain chemicals, but the cause isn't always known.

Several factors have been identified that can significantly increase your risk of developing bladder cancer. These include:

  • Smoking

Smoking is the single biggest risk factor for bladder cancer. This is because tobacco contains cancer-causing (carcinogenic) chemicals. If you smoke for many years, these chemicals pass into your bloodstream and are filtered by the kidneys into your urine.

  • Exposure to certain industrial chemicals

Exposure to certain industrial chemicals is the second biggest risk factor. Previous studies have estimated that this may account for around 25% of cases.

Chemicals known to increase the risk of bladder cancer include:

  • aniline dyes
  • 2-Naphthylamine
  • 4-Aminobiphenyl
  • xenylamine
  • benzidine
  • o-toluidine


Occupations linked to an increased risk of bladder cancer are manufacturing jobs involving:

  • dyes
  • textiles
  • rubbers
  • paints
  • plastics
  • leather tanning

The link between bladder cancer and these types of occupations was discovered in the 1950s and 1960s. Today, strict regulations limit exposure to cancer-causing chemicals.

However, these chemicals are still linked with cases of bladder cancer now, as it can take up to 30 years after initial exposure to the chemicals before the condition starts to develop.

Other factors that can increase your risk of bladder cancer include:

  • radiotherapy to treat previous cancers near the bladder, such as bowel cancer
  • previous treatment with certain chemotherapy medications, such as cyclophosphamide and cisplatin
  • having certain treatments for type 2 diabetes
  • having a tube in your bladder (an indwelling catheter) for a long time, because you have nerve damage that has resulted in paralysis
  • long-term or repeated urinary tract infections (UTIs)
  • long-term bladder stones
  • an untreated infection called schistosomiasis (bilharzia), which is caused by a parasite that lives in fresh water – this is very rare in the UK

If you’re experiencing symptoms of bladder cancer, make an appointment with your GP to get Peace of Mind.

For more information about bladder cancer, including tests and treatment for bladder cancer, visit the following websites:

* Statistics and information taken from Cancer Research UK and NHS England