‘Let’s break cancer taboo’

A BUSINESS owner from West End who survived bladder cancer is calling for more discussion about the disease to break the taboo surrounding it.

Bladder cancer survivor Nick Caldwell wants more awareness about the disease He is going to Wing Walk to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Care

Nick Caldwell was given the all-clear after a year of treatment for the disease, yet believes information about bladder cancer is not common knowledge.

The 45-year-old local businessman said while some people felt comfortable in discussing the disease with him, others were left uncertain as to what to say. He found bladder cancer to be surrounded by a certain amount of embarrassment in its symptoms, and is determined to push for greater awareness of the condition.

“It is a bit crude talking about some of the things you had to go through. It’s like cervical cancer, I suppose, or breast cancer. But the sooner it is diagnosed, the easier it is to treat it,” said Nick, emphasising early diagnosis as essential for a quick and successful treatment.

After first noticing blood in his urine in March 2015, he “thought it was strange and kept a close eye on things”. There was then no blood present in his urine until October, but when it did reappear he went straight to his local GP. Nick was diagnosed with having bladder cancer in February 2016, and was treated at Royal Surrey Hospital.

He feels many campaigns regarding cancer adopt a “doom and gloom” perspective, yet is keen to stress his is a good news story because, despite the element of embarrassment, he didn’t ignore his condition, which meant it was caught with an early diagnosis.

Bladder cancer is the seventh most common type of cancer in the UK, and around 10,000 people are diagnosed with the disease every year. The most noticeable symptom is streaks of blood spotted in urine, and later pelvic pain and weight loss. It is most common in those aged 75 years and older albeit this was not the case for Nick as he is only in his 40s – therefore it is a disease that can affect everybody and should be discussed more openly.

Nick will also be participating in a Wing Walk, and will be strapped to the wing of a bi-plane, in order to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Care. You can help by making a small donation to a great charity via his webpage: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/nick-caldwell

For more details on symptoms and treatment of bladder cancer, visit the NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/bladder-cancer.

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About the Author: Vicky