Orange Kelpies highlight bladder cancer fight

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Falkirk’s iconic Kelpies helped to raise awareness of bladder cancer by turning a bright shade of orange earlier this week.

Patricia McGhie, who lost her husband Clive to bladder cancer in 2013, was at the Helix on Wednesday night to see the illumination for herself. Her Hazel daughter, who was also present, helped organise the special event.

The Kelpies colour change kicked off Bladder Cancer Awareness Month.

Campaigner Ros Bruce, whose idea it was to use the 30 metre-high sculptures to launch the worldwide campaign, said: “It is tremendous to have the Kelpies light up orange and we are delighted they can help.

“It is time shine a spotlight on bladder cancer because awareness is so low. This is about helping people to know the symptoms, and not to hesitate about seeing their doctor if they have any concerns.

“Not knowing the tell-tale signs is contributing to a high number of late diagnoses.”

The Shine A Light campaign is one of several initiatives aiming to increase awareness of the symptoms, better diagnosis and more research into the disease.

Andrew Winterbottom of Fight Bladder Cancer said: “Bladder cancer is the fifth biggest cancer in the UK and yet few people have even heard of it. It affects both men and women at any age - there are more men with the disease, but there is a rise in the number of women with bladder cancer and their late diagnosis makes the outcome worse. “Despite the high number of people with bladder cancer, it receives only a fraction of the research funding of other cancers.”

Symptoms of bladder cancer include blood in urine, a need to urinate more often, or suddenly and urinary infections that don’t clear up.