More than 80 people marked Bladder Cancer Awareness Day in Chinnor on Sunday, May 20 and were joined by Henley MP John Howell.
Supporters of the Chinnor-based charity Fight Bladder Cancer were joining in a global campaign to raise awareness of the disease – the 5th biggest cancer in the UK and Europe. The event called Bubbles for Bladder Cancer, saw a series of co-ordinated events around the world drawing attention to those with a diagnosis and those who have died.
Starting at 10am, friends and supporters blew bubbles before setting out on a walk around the Chinnor area.
The event is the idea of Fight Bladder Cancer’s founder Andrew Winterbottom who persuaded organisations world-wide to take part with the help of the European Cancer Patient Coalition.
Andrew said: “This year we have organisations in over 40 countries joining in the day, so when our supporters in Oxfordshire blew their bubbles, they were part of a global cloud of bubbles. In blowing bubbles we remembered people who have died and stood in solidarity with others living with a diagnosis. It was a special moment for everyone.”
In Europe, someone gets a bladder cancer diagnosis every 4 minutes and someone dying of the disease every 10 minutes. Despite its high incidence, it attracts less than 1% of cancer research funding. Worse still, there have been no major new changes to treatment for over 40 years, leaving it lagging well behind the progress made in other forms of cancer.
Andrew added: “It is shocking that so few people know about a cancer as common as this or know the tell-tale signs to look for. It is simply vital people know to see their doctor immediately they see blood in their wee or find themselves in urgent need of a wee.”
Andrew himself was diagnosed in 2009 and set up the charity with his wife Tracy. It now runs a patient support service and campaigns on their behalf.
Bladder Cancer affects both men and women at any age.
The campaign wants to save lives by highlighting the symptoms people should look for:
blood in wee no matter how much or how many times
a need to wee more often or suddenly
urinary infections that don’t clear up
You can find out more about bladder cancer at www.fightbladdercancer.co.uk and follow #BladderCancer on social media.