LONDON, June 9, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Bladder cancer: we don't mind talking about it, but over half of us have no idea what causes it, according to a survey(1) from the new charity, Action on Bladder Cancer (ABC) - The majority (88%) of 2,055 people invited to participate in the survey were willing to do so. Yet, over half of those surveyed had no idea what the most common cause of bladder cancer might be. One-quarter (25%) also had no idea about the warning signs for the disease. These survey findings mark the launch of Action on Bladder Cancer (ABC) as the only UK charity purely focused on improving the lives of people with bladder cancer. With over 10,000 people being diagnosed every year in the UK2, ABC wants to ensure that bladder cancer is moved higher up the public health agenda to receive greater attention alongside prostate, breast and lung cancer.

Bladder cancer is the 4th most common cancer in men(2) and the 11th most common in women(2). It is quite rare in people under the age of 40 but a person's risk increases with age. ABC is working with healthcare professionals, patients, their carers and the general public, to help improve the treatment and prevention rates of bladder cancer through raising awareness, education and research.

In the ABC survey, the most common cause of bladder cancer was thought to be drinking too much alcohol (18% of respondents). Only 5% said smoking and 1% using chemicals at work, which are in fact the two main causes of bladder cancer. Industries involving dye, rubber, aluminium and leather are linked to an increased risk of bladder cancer.

The most common symptom of, or warning sign for, bladder cancer is blood in the urine, but only half of those surveyed mentioned this.

People living in Scotland, Yorkshire and the East of England are more likely to understand the symptoms of bladder cancer. Those in Yorkshire and East Midlands are most likely to know of someone who has, or has had, bladder cancer. Those people living in Wales tended to fare worst in terms of knowledge and understanding of symptoms.

Mr David Gillatt, Chair of ABC and Consultant Urologist in Bristol, says: We don't expect everyone to be an expert, but such a huge lack of understanding can lead to people being mis-diagnosed and/or diagnosed at a later stage in the disease, which can narrow down the best treatment choices. Over the last 15-20 years bladder cancer has been in the shadows. Greater public attention is urgently needed to improve understanding about the disease so that people know when and where to go for help. We also need to help people take steps to reduce their risk of getting the cancer in the first place, such as giving up smoking. In short, greater national funding needs to become a priority.

Along with awareness raising and scientific research, ABC intends to help improve the standards of care in the health service for bladder cancer patients. At the moment, a patient's care may be influenced by the local doctor's expertise and interest as well as funding priorities within a specific Health Authority or Primary Care Trust. Standards need to be improved and care needs to be consistent throughout the UK.

The profile of bladder cancer and, as a result, the care of patients can be significantly improved by asking the public and healthcare professionals and providers to become involved in our dedicated advocacy group, ABC ( - we want to work together. We fully appreciate that other cancer and urology groups are already offering some valuable support and where it makes sense to do so we are obviously very keen to combine our heavily focused efforts with them, concluded Mr Gillatt.


1. GfK NOP Survey on bladder cancer for Action on Bladder Cancer, May 2010

2. Cancer Research UK, Cancer Stats Key Facts, Bladder Cancer

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Survey Technical Details: GfK NOP interviewed 2,055 adults 16+ using face to face interviewing between 13th-15th May 2010. Data has been weighted to bring it in line with national profiles.

The survey is supported by an educational grant from Kyowa Hakko Kirin UK Ltd.

The official foundation of Action on Bladder Cancer is supported by educational grants from: Kyowa Hakko Kirin UK Ltd; Alliance Pharma; GE Healthcare.

SOURCE: Action on Bladder Cancer (ABC)

CONTACT: For further information or to arrange interviews, please contact:Janis Troup/Laura Glover/Debra Lord/Lorna Webley, ABC Secretariat (RightAngle Communications), Tel:+44(0)20-3142-6491/+44(02)0-3142-6495/+44(0)20-3142-6490/+44(0)7703-619989