Approximately 17,500 people will develop kidney
or bladder cancer per year in the UK. People from the black community don’t really
talk about cancer. We see cancer as a death sentence really. Cancer in Asian communities is seen as a big taboo, the minute you mention cancer, people
think oh wow. You know…. Patients are often very embarrassed to come
forward, they don’t want to tell their friends or relatives or discuss it. They feel that
perhaps it was something wrong that they had done that is the cause of their symptoms.
They may visit a spiritualist rather than going directly to their GP… and not that
that’s a bad thing, but of course that may delay things further.
Some people wouldn’t even say cancer, they say oh the ‘C’ word, and I say what you
mean cancer? You know I have no problem, I have totally accepted that you’ve got to
get it diagnosed early on and get it treated. The most typical sign that might alert you
to a problem that could be cancer in your kidney or your bladder is seeing blood in
your urine. When there was blood in my urine I knew I had to get to medical help I went to my GP, I was asked to provide a
urine sample. They did my urine test and I think they realised
very quickly that it was something very serious. They sent me a letter from London Hospital
you know, and they found in my bladder it had a small tumour When I was diagnosed with bladder cancer I was totally shocked. Afterwards I got home
and you know…realised that right I’ve got a fight on my hands.
You can’t just ignore it, so I felt that if I talked about it then I’ve got other
people there to support me. I told my immediate family straight away and
friends as well and they were very, very supportive and to be honest I could not have managed
without all their support. For a year or so I had the treatment and it has worked for
me and cancer hasn’t returned. When I was referred to the urology team, the
decision was that they would remove my bladder, so I had the operation and I was really glad
that I did that. It saved my life and everything is fine now. After the surgery I felt relieved, I now look forward to the future. We know that if cancer of the bladder and/or cancer of the kidney are detected early then
the treatments are very effective. If any patients notice blood in their urine,
even if it is just the one time; please discuss this with your GP straight away don’t delay.