Home Health Dr Sood Joins Bladder and Kidney Campaign

Dr Sood Joins Bladder and Kidney Campaign

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Dr Jyoti Sood warns South Asians “If you notice blood in your urine, even if it’s just the once, you must tell your doctor straightaway”

Dr SoodDr Jyoti Sood, who features in the latest Public Health England (PHE) Be Clear on Cancer campaign, knows all too well about the importance of seeing your doctor straightaway when you notice symptoms like blood in your urine. She sadly lost her grandfather to kidney cancer when he was in his 70s. As she recounts the chain of events she says, “He had experienced blood in his urine for a good few months but didn’t realise what it was. By chance I saw the blood in the toilet after he had been. When I asked him about it he said he had discussed it with friends and they thought it was probably caused by the beetroot he was eating.”

“I encouraged him to make an appointment to see his GP to check what was causing his symptom. He was reluctant to see his GP but after he had a urine test the results showed it was in fact blood in his urine and not beetroot as he thought. Unfortunately because he had delayed seeking help his kidney cancer was detected at a late stage, it was aggressive and soon after he was diagnosed he passed away. If he had been diagnosed and treated earlier, I believe he would have survived because cancer is more treatable if found early.”

This experience has made Dr Jyoti Sood very passionate about raising awareness of the symptoms of bladder and kidney cancers as well as tackling cultural beliefs that can delay people in going to see their doctor; she says “The key symptom for both bladder and kidney cancers is blood in urine, but people sometimes experience other symptoms. Other bladder cancer symptoms include pain while urinating or a urinary tract infection that is difficult to treat or comes back quickly after treatment. A pain in the side, below the ribs that doesn’t go away or weight loss can be symptoms of kidney cancer.”

“I feel very strongly that people should go to their GP as soon as they notice these symptoms and let their GP advise on the most appropriate treatment. People should avoid self-diagnosing and letting friends and family guide them with alternative remedies.”

“There are many myths about cancer within South Asian communities, for example, some believe that changing your eating habits or having a detox can cure cancer without any medical intervention. These cultural beliefs, along with patients feeling embarrassed or ashamed, can lead to people hiding their symptoms and seeking medical help late, resulting in poorer outcomes.”

BCOC_logoShe goes on to talk about other issues, “For some not being able to communicate in English can delay people in seeing their doctor. However, many people don’t realise that they can request an interpreter in their chosen language, so language shouldn’t be a barrier.”

Dr Jyoti Sood talks about why she agreed to be the face of the ‘Blood in Urine’ campaign, she says “As a GP, I feel very responsible; I want to encourage people to pay attention to this campaign and to talk to their GP about their symptoms. If one life is saved as a result, then I feel I’ve made a difference!”

She concludes by saying, “Remember to always look before you flush the toilet and if you notice blood in your urine, even if it’s ‘just the once’ don’t ignore it or try to treat it yourself – please tell your doctor and they will advise you appropriately. We want to see patients with these symptoms, it might not be anything serious, but these cancers are more treatable if they are found early.”

For further information about the signs and symptoms of bladder and kidney cancers, please visit nhs.uk/bloodinpee.