Cancer in EOD Veterans

Felix Fund is supporting an awareness campaign concerning bladder cancer in EOD veterans. Please take a minute to read this.


  • To alert former ATs/ATOs to the prevalence of bladder cancer.
  • To recommend a testing regime which can lead to early detection.


There is anecdotal evidence emerging that the prevalence of bladder and related cancers amongst former ATOs and ATs is unusually high. Those most affected appear to have had contact with various carcinogenic substances, including Nitrobenzene. This was widely used in PIRA devices from around 1971- 1991.

Bladder and other cancers can be successfully treated if caught early.

In the early stages, bladder cancer rarely causes pain but most often leads to:

  • Urinary tract and bladder infections
  • Frequency or difficulty peeing
  • Blood in the urine which may not be visible to the naked eye

It is important to note that these symptoms may also result from non-cancerous causes. There is also clinical evidence that the emergence of bladder cancer frequently occurs thirty or more years after exposure to carcinogens.

Early detection is vital and this may be achieved through a six monthly urine test.


There are now medically proven, commercial urine self-test kits: – Between £10 and £20 each, very simple to use.

Siemens MultiStixGP – 68p each – a little complicated to use.

Both detect small amounts of blood in the urine (and other things too in the case of the Siemens test). Other tests may be becoming available. In the event of a positive result DON’T PANIC simply go to your GP to get checked out.


As a group of aging veterans, cancer of various sorts will likely catch some of us. For those exposed to carcinogens during EOD duties, it is worth routinely taking a simple test. The MOD have made clear they do not yet have sufficiently robust data to acknowledge a problem exists. If you are comfortable, please report any positive results. It would allow us to get the funding to launch the academic work necessary to understand the prevalence among EOD veterans.

Please start your own testing regime and email [email protected] to say you are participating. All communications will be dealt with in the strictest confidence.

There are those who have gone through this and survived. They would happily speak in confidence with any of you who may face this challenge.

Please share this article with others who may be affected.

This course of action supported by

Brig (retd) Clive Elderton CBE

Brig (retd) Gareth Collett CBE

Lt Col Retd Andy Green

Maj (retd) Roger Davies MBE QGM


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