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Bladder Cancer in Scotland


Bladder Cancer in Scotland

Registered Office Address:

Fight Bladder Cancer
5 South Charlotte Street

The Fight Bladder Cancer Scottish Steering Group was formally established in 2019 to lead our work in Scotland and includes patients, family members, doctors and nurses, Scottish urological consultants, and community organisations. As of 2022, we are registered with the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator as a cross-border Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SC051881).

Scottish patients are involved in Fight Bladder Cancer in many ways – including co-creating our programme in Scotland, reviewing our patient and community information materials, organising the local support group meetings, and providing peer support to others.

We currently have over seventy community champions and patient ambassadors in Scotland giving talks, raising awareness, spreading information about prevention,
and fundraising in their local communities across Scotland. They are also involved in proofing materials, speaking at conferences, and, where appropriate, giving 'expert patient guidance' in medical & policy settings.

Four key focus areas


  • Awareness Awareness

    Promoting awareness campaigns about the causes, symptoms, treatments, and care to the public and the medical profession.

  • Support

    Providing support and information to people diagnosed with bladder cancer, their families, friends, and carers.

  • Policy change

    Advocating for effective policies to prevent, treat, and support people affected by bladder cancer.

  • Research

    Supporting research into the nature, causes, diagnosis, prevention, treatment, and cure of bladder cancer.

Meet Glen, who shares his journey with bladder cancer, starting from an unexpected diagnosis to becoming an active voice in the bladder cancer community. Living in Scotland, Glen's story begins with a simple yet alarming symptom that led him to seek medical advice. This video was made possible with financial support from Astellas and Roche. Fight Bladder Cancer has retained all editorial control. 


Glen's Bladder Cancer Experience – Turning Shock into Advocacy

The Facts

  • Over 19,000 people are diagnosed with bladder cancer each year in the UK. Nearly 1,700 people diagnosed each year are in Scotland (Scottish Cancer) [1]
  • 1 in 2 patients diagnosed with bladder cancer will succumb to the disease [2]
  • Per patient, bladder cancer is the most expensive cancer [3] for the NHS to treat and monitor. The high risk of recurring disease means years of invasive monitoring and repeat surgery.
  • Five-year survival rates for bladder cancer in Scotland are the lowest in Europe.[4] The five-year survival rate for men with bladder cancer in England is 74%, and for women, it is 67%. In Scotland, the survival rates are only 53% and 42 %, respectively. These survival rates have not changed or improved in over three decades.

[3] The global burden of urinary bladder cancer: an update World Journal of Urology (2020) 38:1895–1904.


We are making a difference, but there is still much more to do

Have you heard of bladder cancer?


We want bladder cancer to be caught early

Blood in the wee is one of the most common "but little known" symptoms of bladder cancer. Due to lack of awareness, over half of bladder cancer patients present with advanced cancer, meaning that the likelihood of cure drops significantly and treatment becomes more debilitating. Women, especially, are more likely to present with advanced bladder cancer due to blood in urine being attributed to urinary tract infections.

We want to decrease the incidence of bladder cancer

Nearly 50% of bladder cancer cases in the UK are preventable, so we work to raise awareness about the known causes such as smoking, and exposure to carcinogens. We partner with trade unions and employers' organisations to help decrease the number of preventable causes of bladder cancer related to workplace exposure to carcinogens.

We are calling for more investment in bladder cancer research and workforce: Despite how common it is, research into the causes of bladder cancer and for new and better treatments is pitifully low, representing just 0.5% of cancer research spending in the UK.

Bladder cancer patients need access to specialised care and access to ongoing support. We are asking policymakers in Scotland to invest in opportunities to grow the workforce of health care professionals specialising in bladder cancer.

Dr Johnstone Shaw
Retired GP and Medical Educator | Edinburgh
Age of diagnosis: 64

"Receiving a diagnosis of bladder cancer was absolutely devastating. Fight Bladder Cancer has been extremely supportive of me. Putting something back by being part of what the charity does has really helped me move on."


Danielle Marr
Patient Advisor at Spire Murrayfield Hospital | West Lothian

Age of diagnosis: 25

“Fight Bladder Cancer has been a great support to me over the years, and I have met many amazing people. We need more awareness and earlier diagnosis of this neglected cancer.”

Dorothy Markham
Retired Director / Manager of a residential childcare organisation | Falkland

Age of diagnosis: 79

“The charity has offered reassurance, support, and knowledge regarding living with bladder cancer. I have been given the opportunity to meet some amazing people and make new friends. In 2019, we set up the Scottish Steering Group, which has opened opportunities I would never have had.”

Our support services

Private Facebook Support Forum. 

Our leading support service is our online private forum on Facebook. It is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 


Bladder Buddy Service

We offer a 1 to 1 Bladder buddy service where we pair patients or carers with someone who is going through the same thing. A match is based on gender, diagnosis, and locality.



Patient Information Booklets

Our Patient and Carer Information Booklets are available to download and order for free for patients, carers and health care professionals. Financial support provided by the Graham and Dianne Roberts Charitable Settlement, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, MSD, the National Lottery Community Fund, Pfizer, Roche, and Sanofi. All editorial control has been retained by Fight Bladder Cancer.


Scottish Women's Support Group

We run a ZOOM support group for women in Scotland with bladder cancer.


Wee Walk in Scotland


Get in touch

We’ve tried to make the information on this site as accurate as possible. Whilst we have support from medical professionals to review the general medical content of this site, please remember that only your medical team can give you specific advice about your symptoms or illness. Fight Bladder Cancer is a registered Charitable Incorporated Organisation in Scotland (SC051881), England and Wales (1198773), and was initially established as an unincorporated charity in England and Wales (1157763). It also operates in Northern Ireland.