Press release

Premier League football clubs kick-off Be Clear on Cancer ‘Blood in Pee’ campaign

Only 1 in 3 survive bladder or kidney cancer beyond a year if diagnosed at late stage.

Be Clear on Cancer logo

Four Premier League clubs from across the country have put their rivalry to one side to support Public Health England’s campaign to increase awareness of a key symptom of bladder and kidney cancers – blood in pee. Latest figures reveal that only 1 in 3 people survive bladder or kidney cancer beyond 12 months if diagnosed at a late stage, compared with more than 9 in 10 who survive at least a year if diagnosed at the earliest stage.

The earlier bladder and kidney cancers are diagnosed, the higher the chance of survival, so being aware of the symptoms is crucial. Visible blood in pee is a key symptom in many bladder and kidney cancers and those who notice it, even if it’s just the once, should see their doctor without delay. Yet research has found that 43% of people would wait until they saw blood in their pee at least a second time before they contacted their GP.

With the support of the Premier League and football clubs Liverpool FC, West Ham United FC, Southampton FC and West Bromwich Albion FC, this campaign aims to keep the ‘blood in pee’ message at the front of people’s minds. The clubs’ support will also help reach men in particular, who are at greater risk of developing bladder and kidney cancers.

The 4 football clubs will each support the campaign in a variety of different ways. One of these includes installing thermochromic posters in their urinals which, when used, turn red to reveal the campaign message urging fans to tell their doctor if they notice blood in their pee. Clubs will also display campaign material about bladder and kidney cancers during match days, while players and club doctors will publicly back the campaign.

Professor Kevin Fenton, National Director of Health and Wellbeing at Public Health England (PHE), comments:

This campaign encourages those who notice blood in their pee to go to their doctor straight away – bladder and kidney cancers are more treatable if they are found early. We are delighted to receive such high profile support from these Premier League clubs. We are confident that together, we can increase awareness of the symptoms of these cancers and encourage those with symptoms to visit their doctor without delay.

Sean Duffy, National Clinical Director for Cancer at NHS England, said:

Knowing the signs and seeing your GP as early as possible can make a real difference and significantly improve the chances of surviving bladder and kidney cancer. That is why the blood in pee campaign is so important.

On average, 17,000 people are diagnosed with either bladder or kidney cancer every year - with around 7,500 people dying from these diseases annually. Last year, the campaign evaluation showed 127 more bladder cancers and 116 more kidney cancers were diagnosed following an urgent GP referral for suspected urological cancer compared with the same 3-month period in the previous year.

Simon Morgan, Head of Community Development, Premier League said:

The Premier League is proud to be supporting the Be Clear on Cancer ‘Blood in Pee’ campaign. The health of football fans across the country is a serious issue, with men more at risk of developing and dying from bladder and kidney cancer than women. This campaign, being delivered with the help of Premier League clubs, is hugely important in raising awareness of a key sign of these cancers.

Jay Rodriguez, Southampton FC forward comments:

As a footballer I am always keeping an eye on my health and we want our fans and their loved ones to do the same. If you notice something unusual, like blood in pee, you should always go straight to your doctor. That’s why I’m supporting the Be Clear on Cancer campaign, to raise awareness amongst fans of the signs of bladder and kidney cancer.

For further information about the signs and symptoms of bladder and kidney cancers, please visit the NHS Choices website.


Notes to editors

  • PHE exists to protect and improve the nation’s health and wellbeing, and reduce health inequalities. It does this through advocacy, partnerships, world-class science, knowledge and intelligence, and the delivery of specialist public health services. PHE is an operationally autonomous executive agency of the Department of Health. Website: Twitter: @PHE_uk, Facebook:
  • Be Clear on Cancer campaigns are run by PHE in partnership with the Department of Health and NHS England.
  • PHE is working with the Premier League to target men in particular as they are more likely to develop bladder and kidney cancers.
  • The Be Clear on Cancer Blood in Pee campaign first ran nationally from 15 October to 20 November 2013. It was piloted in the Tyne and Tees and Borders TV regions from January to March 2013.
  • The Be Clear on Cancer campaign is part of the National Awareness and Early Diagnosis Initiative, run in partnership with Cancer Research UK, to improve England’s cancer survival rates.
  • The Government’s priorities for cancer as set out in Improving Outcomes: A Strategy for Cancer (January 2011) includes the ambition to save an additional 5,000 lives per year by 2014 to 2015.

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Published 14 October 2014