Cancer survivors filmed at Royal London urge others to see GPs if symptoms show
- Credit: NHS
A short film shot in east London aimed at ethnic communities to raise awareness of bladder and kidney cancer tells the story of survivors who went to their GP early and caught the disease in time.
Blood in urine is the key to symptoms of bladder and kidney cancers, the film’s message stresses.
The documentary is part of Public Health England’s Be Clear on Cancer campaign recorded the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, talking to survivors like Jyoti Howe, who had bladder cancer.
“I was fit, healthy, going regularly to the gym and doing yoga, when I noticed blood,” she said.
“I had no idea it was a symptom of cancer, but realised I needed medical help straightaway. It was caught early.”
She added: “Cancer is still a ‘taboo’ in the Asian community—but I’m living proof that bladder cancer is more treatable if caught early.
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“It has changed my outlook on life—I make the most of it and don’t take things for granted.”
The film highlights ethnic cultural issues about cancer that can delay seeing a doctor early when people notice unusual symptoms like blood in the urine.
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Royal London’s consultant urological surgeon Jhumur Pati explained: “There is often a strong fear of cancer and a perception that it’s incurable because they think it quickly leads to death—but these cancers are more treatable if found early.”
The message about seeing a GP is clear in the film. Those diagnosed at the earliest stage have a likely survival chance of 84 per cent for kidney cancer and 77pc for bladder cancer, it points out.
But those diagnosed late have a survival rate of only 10pc for kidney and 9pc for bladder cancer.