UK

NHS warnings on urinal mats will urge men to get checked for cancer

The NHS has launched a campaign on urinal mats to get men to see their GP for symptoms of cancer (NHS England/PA)
The NHS has launched a campaign on urinal mats to get men to see their GP for symptoms of cancer (NHS England/PA)

Cancer warnings are being put on urinal mats in pubs, restaurants and football grounds in a bid to drive up early detection.

The NHS in England is putting the message “Blood in your pee? Contact your GP practice” on mats as a way of urging men to seek help for the major symptom of bladder, kidney and prostate cancer.

Pubs, restaurants, shops, hotels and sports stadiums will be among the public places using the mats, and men’s workplaces will also be targeted.

The NHS has joined forces with P-Wave, a urinal products brand, to deliver the message.

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The mats sit inside urinals so men can read the message as they pee (NHS England/PA)

Professor Peter Johnson, NHS England national clinical director for cancer, said: “Having blood in your pee – even just once – shouldn’t be ignored because it can be a sign of cancer, so it needs to be checked out by your GP team.

“Cancer survival is at an all-time high, and we’re seeing more cancers than ever before being picked up at an early stage – and this partnership with P-wave is just one of the many ways we are helping people to be aware of possible cancer symptoms.

“While this initiative is about helping men to spot the signs of cancer, everyone needs to be more aware.

“Please look for any changes that may be unusual for you and get checked out early. It could save your life.”

Other common symptoms of bladder, kidney and prostate cancer include peeing very often, sudden need to pee or a burning sensation when peeing.

People should also seek help if they have difficulty peeing, a lump or swelling in the back, under the ribs, in the neck, or pain at the side between the ribs and the hip.

A poll of 2,000 men by Censuswide to support the campaign found that nearly half (46%) thought blood in pee was not a symptom of cancer, while 39% would wait to see blood multiple times before seeing a GP.

More than half of men in England use a public urinal at least once a week, the poll found, while 71% said they would be more likely to contact their GP practice if they saw messaging on a urinal mat and were experiencing blood in their pee.

Adil Malik, from London, was diagnosed with cancer at a young age.

Mr Malik said: “I first noticed blood in my pee in 2021. As a fit and healthy 28-year-old, the last thing I thought it could be was cancer.

“But after losing a vast amount of weight very quickly, I decided to reach out to my local GP practice, which led to my diagnosis of kidney cancer.

“Thankfully, it was treatable with help from the amazing team at the Royal Free Hospital.

“My story shows that cancer can affect people of any age and the NHS and P-Wave partnership is a great way to remind people to contact their GP practice if they notice a change in their body which doesn’t feel right.”