What is Bladder Cancer? (Definition)
According to the American Cancer Society, more than 75,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with bladder cancer each year and some 16,000 people will die from this disease. Bladder cancer accounts for about 5% of all new cancers in the US. It is the fourth most common cancer in men.
Signs and Symptoms of Bladder Cancer
It’s often been said that early detection is the best medicine, and when it comes to treating diseases and conditions like bladder cancer, the saying definitely holds true. It is important to pay attention to symptoms, however minor they may seem, as they could be the first signs of disease. In many cases, knowing the early warning signs of bladder cancer can help identify the disease and treat it before it becomes serious or life threatening.
Many symptoms are common to many different types of diseases and conditions, such as unexplained weight loss, fatigue, etc. That’s why it’s so important to talk to your doctor about the symptoms you are experiencing so that a proper diagnosis can be made, and if necessary, you can begin treatment.
If you are experiencing any of the following signs and symptoms associated with bladder cancer, consult with your doctor to identify what may be causing your symptoms. Advancements in diagnosing and treating bladder cancer are occurring on a regular basis thanks to ongoing research being conducted at major medical research universities and institutions around the world.
The presence of blood in the urine (hematuria) is the first sign of bladder cancer. If there is a strong presence of blood, it may change the color of the urine to orange, pink, or even darker red. In other cases, urine may appear normal but small amounts of blood are found when conducting a urine test (urinalysis) as part of a regular checkup or testing for something else. Blood may be present in the urine one day and gone the next, with the urine remaining clear for weeks or months. If a person has bladder cancer, blood eventually reappears. It is important to understand that blood in the urine does not always indicate bladder cancer. The presence of blood can also be caused by other things like an infection, benign (non-cancerous) tumors, stones in the kidney or bladder, or other benign kidney diseases.
Other symptoms of bladder cancer may include changes in bladder habits or symptoms of irritation such as urinating with more frequency, feeling a pain or burning sensation during urination, having trouble urinating or having a weak urine stream, or the feeling that you need to urinate when the bladder is not full.
Advanced symptoms may include lower back pain on one side, the inability to urinate, bone pain, swelling in the feet, feeling weak or fatigued and unintentional weight loss.
Experiencing one or more of the symptoms listed above does not necessarily mean that you have bladder cancer. As with most diseases, many of these symptoms can also be caused by other conditions. However, if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to get checked by your doctor or healthcare professional to identify the cause and get treatment if necessary.
Source: American Cancer Society
See below for updated news and information regarding bladder cancer including new medical research, treatments and advancements.
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