5 Signs of Bladder Cancer
Bladder cancer occurs in the tissues of the bladder, which is the organ in the body that holds urine. According to the National Institutes of Health, approximately 45,000 men and 17,000 women per year are diagnosed with the disease.
The most common — and often, the first — symptom is blood in your urine. It may be just a little, or it can be enough to change the colour of your pee. It may turn an orange, pink, or darker red.
You may see blood one day, but not the next. If you have bladder cancer, the blood eventually comes back. In some cases, you can???t see blood in your urine. Your doctor or lab tech will only detect it with a urine test.
What are the symptoms of bladder cancer?
Several symptoms might indicate bladder cancer like fatigue, weight loss, and bone tenderness, and these can indicate more advanced disease. You should pay particular attention to the following symptoms:
- Blood in the urine
Any blood in the urine can be a sign of a serious health problem, even if it happens only once. Ignoring hematuria can lead to the worsening of bladder cancer. This is a symptom that often occurs in advanced cancer cases. There may not be earlier signs of a problem.
- UTI like symptoms
Bladder cancer can be mistaken for a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) because many of the symptoms overlap. Patients may experience increased frequency and urgency of urination, pain with urination, or urinary incontinence. If you???ve noticed any urinary problems???you have to go all the time, or you feel like you have to go but can???t, or you have a hard time emptying your bladder???or if antibiotics don???t seem to be helping your UTI symptoms, talk to your doctor.
- Unexplained pain
More advanced bladder cancers are often associated with pain. Pain can occur in the flank area, abdomen, or pelvis. Patients can also develop pain in their bones if cancer has spread to their bones. If you???re having aches and pains in those areas, tell your doctor???especially if you???ve also noticed spotting or UTI symptoms.
- Decreased appetite
Appetite loss is a common cancer symptom, and bladder cancer is no exception. If cancer has grown or spread, you might experience weight loss or feel tired and weak. Of course, there are plenty of other things that can mess with your appetite, so don???t automatically assume the worst???but do talk to your doctor about it if it persists.
- Postmenopausal uterine bleeding
Any blood or spots that you notice after menopause could be a symptom of bladder cancer or some other underlying issue. Similarly to blood in the urine, it may be easy to overlook, but it is recommended that you see your urologist be safe.
Because doctors don???t yet know what causes bladder cancer, it may not be preventable in all cases. The following factors and behaviours can reduce your risk of getting bladder cancer:
- Not smoking
- Avoiding secondhand cigarette smoke
- Avoiding other carcinogenic chemicals
- Drinking plenty of water
The presence of one or all of these signs does not mean you have cancer, but you should be seen by a urologist, as these are abnormal bodily functions. Sometimes those diagnosed with bladder cancer do not experience any bleeding or pain. That???s why routine screening and physicals are very important.Contact Us