An estimated 81,180 adults in the United States will be diagnosed with bladder cancer this year. To lower your risk for long-term cancer complications, it’s helpful to know what warning signs to look for, so you can take action fast.
At Urology Specialist Group, our skilled urologists have extensive experience diagnosing and treating bladder cancer in men and women. We offer diagnostic technologies on-site to screen for bladder cancer if you have one or more symptoms of the disease.
An overview of bladder cancer
Bladder cancer starts in the cells of the bladder, the organ that collects urine before it leaves your body. Cancer cells grow and divide abnormally and can form tumors.
There’s not a clear understanding of what causes cells to grow abnormally and become cancerous. However, there are factors that can increase your risk for the disease, such as:
- Tobacco use
- Family history
- Exposure to radiation
- Exposure to environmental toxins
If you have conditions like interstitial cystitis that causes chronic bladder irritation or inflammation, you might also be at a higher risk for bladder cancer. Men may also be at higher risk for this type of cancer than women.
Bladder cancer symptoms you shouldn’t ignore
Because bladder cancer can often be treated successfully in the earliest stages, it’s important that you pay attention to symptoms the disease can cause.
Symptoms of bladder cancer can include:
1. Pelvic pain
Pelvic pain can be a symptom of many conditions, including bladder cancer and other types of cancer. This type of pain can start as a mild ache and progressively worsen as the cancer advances.
2. Frequent urination
Bladder cancer can make you feel like you have to use the bathroom more frequently than normal.
Because caffeine and urinary tract infections (UTIs) can also cause more frequent urination, it’s important to schedule a diagnostic screening if you feel the need to pee more often or have difficulty making it to the bathroom in time.
3. Painful urination
In addition to having to pee more often, bladder cancer may also make urination painful. If you have persistent pain that lasts for several days, it could be a warning sign of a UTI, bladder cancer, or other condition that requires medical intervention.
4. Back pain
Back pain is a common side effect of bladder cancer, especially as the disease progresses. Pain is usually in your lower back but can also radiate into your mid-back.
Pain usually results when tumors become large or if cancer cells start to spread outside of your bladder.
5. Blood in urine
Blood in your urine due to bladder cancer may appear dark like cola or bright red. You might notice blood in the toilet after urinating, but lab testing is the only way to know for sure.
If you have any symptoms of bladder cancer or are at high risk for the disease, we offer several tests in-office, including bladder biopsy procedures, to evaluate your bladder health and determine the level and advancement of cancer.
Our urology team also provides customized care plans using immunotherapy, radiation, chemotherapy, or surgery to treat cancer and prevent it from spreading.
Call the Urology Specialist Group office near you to schedule a diagnostic evaluation for bladder cancer symptoms or book an appointment online today.