"Blood in Pee" Campaign | 19 July-23 September 2018

Blood in Pee Campaign

The "Blood in Pee" Campaign is back for the 4th time and is running from 19th July to 23rd September 2018. It is a great opportunity for you and your pharmacy to get involved and raise awareness around bladder and kidney cancers. This is one of the 'Be Clear on Cancer' Campaigns where the aim is to raise public awareness of signs and symptoms of cancer thereby encouraging people to see their GP so an early diagnosis can be made. Around 8,000 people die from bladder or kidney cancer in England a year. Blood in the urine is the main symptom of bladder cancer and a common symptom of kidney cancer. It is often a symptom that is missed so the campaign hopes to increase awareness so everyone checks their pee before flushing. The main message of the campaign is "If you notice blood in your pee, even if it's 'just the once', tell your doctor".

  • Other symptoms of bladder cancer include: Urinary tract infection which is difficult to treat or is recurrent and pain whilst peeing.
  • Other symptoms of kidney cancer include: pain on side or below the ribs that does not go away and weight-loss.

Most people diagnosed with bladder and kidney cancer are over the age of 50, so this campaign is primarily aimed at men and women over 50 and those in lower socio-economic groups. There will TV, radio and social media advertising as well as posters in public washrooms.

Like with other cancers reducing the risk is paramount and as health Champions you are well placed to support patients to do this, by:

  • Advising and supporting patients to stop smoking
  • Encouraging a healthy lifestyle which includes having a balanced diet and exercising
  • Supporting patients to reduce the amount of alcohol they drink

For more information on the campaign please visit the following websites:

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#WearPurpleForJIA (Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis) | 7 June 2019

Wear Purple for Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA)

In the dark, still of the night, she moves to make herself more comfortable; she whimpers and cries out in pain. A dull, continuous, unrelenting pain. They try to comfort her but nothing seems to help, 'don't touch me' she screams and sobs. The following morning she limps, stiffly towards the bathroom, ready to face the day and all of the challenges it beholds.

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Allergy Awareness Week | 29 April - 3 May 2019

Allergy Awareness Week

Allergy awareness week - creating an allergen-free haven

You might know the symptoms of allergies and their triggers, but can you help people to avoid them? 'Stay away from triggers' seems like good advice until you realise that they are everywhere.

So how best can you help people to manage them? Supply products to treat the symptoms? Sure. However, despite the vast array of anti-allergy products at our disposal, prevention is always a better strategy. This is because the cause of the reaction is an allergen (e.g. pollen, dust mite particles) coming into contact with the person, creating an immune response. If we can limit this contact, we lessen the burden of allergies to the person.

As healthcare professionals, we couldn't be in a better position to alert people to the causes of their problems and advise on how to manage them. For example, weight loss in cardiovascular disease or smoking cessation in lung disease. Allergen avoidance in allergies is no different! This Allergy Awareness Week we're going to focus on how we can provide advice to people on optimising their home environment in a bid to gain control over their symptoms. Some basic advice on the main allergens includes:

Dust mites

Preventing

  • Reduce the numbers of carpets, rugs, cushions and curtains etc. in the home
  • Keep humidity below 50% (dust mites love humid environments!)
  • Use hypoallergenic bedding

 Managing

  • Clean often and use a damp cloth (wearing a filter mask while doing so may help)
  • Wash bedding frequently (above 60° if possible) and replace pillows regularly
  • Use a dehumidifier if necessary (also helps with mould and mildew)

Pollen 

  • Change clothes once home and shake-out or wash (and dry indoors)
  • Wash hair at night to rinse out pollen
  • Keep windows and doors closed in morning and evening, when pollen is highest
  • Don't keep plants that may trigger allergies

 Pet dander

  • Brush and wash pets regularly
  • Limit time indoors (encourage pet-free zones)
  • Wash hands and clothes after contact
  • Adopt a hypoallergenic cat or dog! 

Why is this important?

Nearly 1 in 2 people suffer with an allergy of some sort, meaning your actions have the potential to impact many.

Who needs this advice?

You can identify people that would benefit from this advice by their presenting symptoms—sneezing; runny or blocked nose; itchy, watery, red eyes; red or itchy skin; scratchy roof of mouth or throat; tiredness and headache—or by the products they come in to buy/collect: antihistamines, steroid nasal sprays, anti-itch cream, eye drops, painkillers and decongestants.

What can you do?

Aside from identifying appropriate people and providing advice, you could display some of the Allergy UK factsheets in the pharmacy or make them available for patients to take home. You can also signpost people to Allergy UK directly as it’s a public-friendly website.

When should I consider giving this advice?

Although pollen is mainly seasonal and dust mites prefer warm weather, allergies are not confined to spring/summer as many believe. Hence, this advice is relevant all year-round as allergies do not discriminate against time of year!

Useful resources:

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