May is Bladder Cancer Awareness month and the perfect time to schedule your next cancer surveillance appointment at Urology Specialist Group.
Our urology team has extensive experience providing ongoing care for people with a history of bladder cancer. We offer in-office services to monitor your bladder health in the years after successful cancer treatment to ensure the disease doesn’t come back.
What to know about bladder cancer
Your bladder is a hollow organ in your lower abdomen that stores urine until it can leave your body. Cancer often starts in the urothelial cells found in the tissue that lines your bladder and can spread throughout the organ and into nearby tissues.
Your risk for developing bladder cancer increases with age. Men are also more likely to develop this type of cancer than women. Other risk factors for bladder cancer include:
- Family history of bladder cancer
- Chronic bladder inflammation
- Exposure to arsenic and other chemicals
You may also be susceptible to bladder cancer if you have a history of other types of cancer and received radiation as part of your treatment plan.
When addressed in the earliest stages, bladder cancer is often treatable. However, even when your cancer goes into remission, there is still an increased risk it will come back at some point. That’s why our experienced urologists strongly recommend that you keep up with routine cancer screenings.
Surveillance strategies for bladder cancer
Recurrent cancer can affect your bladder, kidneys, urethra, and other parts of your urinary tract in the months or years after your initial cancer remission.
Our physicians provide advanced screening technologies to identify cancer recurrence in the earliest stages. Routine screenings typically start three months after your cancer treatment ends and include:
Urine testing involves examining a sample of your urine to check for the presence of cancer cells.
Computed tomography (CT) scans and other imaging technologies provide images of your urinary tract to identify cancerous cells and other abnormalities.
Cystoscopy gives our providers a look inside your urethra and bladder. They insert a small, narrow tube (cystoscope) with a special lens that magnifies bladder tissue to check for signs of disease.
When to schedule bladder cancer surveillance visits
Depending on your overall health and cancer history, you may need to schedule cancer screenings every three to six months for several years after your last cancer treatment. If there are no signs of cancer’s return within that time, you may only need screenings annually.
In the event our providers find suspicious tissue or other cancer-related issues, we complete a biopsy to remove a sample of bladder tissue for further evaluation. If cancer recurs, our team discusses all of your options for treatment.
Early intervention of recurrent bladder cancer lowers your risk for complications and the spread of cancer. For this reason, you should stay on track with all of your routine screenings at Urology Specialist Group even if you feel great.
Call the Urology Specialist Group office in Miami Lakes, Miami, or Hialeah, Florida, to schedule your next bladder cancer surveillance appointment. You can also book your screening online today.