Bladder cancer is one of the common types of cancer that starts in the bladder cells. The bladder is a hollow and muscular organ found in the lower abdomen to store urine. This type of cancer typically starts in the cells that line up the inner parts of the bladder called the urothelial cells.
These cells are present in the kidneys and the tubes, i.e., ureters, connecting the bladder to the kidneys. This type of cancer might occur in the ureters and kidneys, though it is more common in the bladders. Those with bladder cancer should look out for the following signs and symptoms.
Signs and symptoms of bladder cancer
At times, people having bladder cancer do not experience any of the changes mentioned below. In some cases, the causes of symptoms might be a completely different health condition that isn’t cancer.
Keeping everything in mind the following are the most common signs and symptoms of bladder cancer:
- blood in the urine
- blood clots in the urine
- frequent urination
- an urge to urinate frequently but not being able to
- burning sensation or pain during urination
- feeling like urinating several times in the night
- lower back pain persisting on a side of the body
In most cases, this form of cancer gets diagnosed after the person informs the doctor regarding the presence of blood in the urine, a condition known as hematuria. The term ‘goss hematuria’ refers to the presence of enough blood in the urine to be visible to the patient. It is possible to have smaller amounts of blood present in the urine that can’t be seen, which is known as ‘microscopic hematuria.’ In such cases, it can be detected through a urine test.
Routine urine tests are not sufficient for bladder cancer diagnosis because they might indicate other conditions like kidney stones or infection. Cytology is a specific urine test that helps to find out if it is cancer. In cytology, the urine sample is examined under microscopes to detect cancer cells.
Occasionally, the first signs of bladder cancer show up when it has already started spreading to other body parts. In such cases, the symptoms are based on where the disease has spread. For instance, if cancer has spread to the bones, it might lead to a fracture or bone pain. Some of the other symptoms of bladder cancer are a pain in the pelvis or back, weight loss, and sudden appetite loss.
Prevention of bladder cancer
Though there is no sure way to prevent cancer, the risks can be reduced by taking certain steps. A good beginning is to quit smoking. In case you need help in this regard, talk to your doctor about medications, support groups, and all other methods to quit smoking.
Also, make sure to have a diet that is rich in fruits and veggies because the antioxidants present in these foods help in reducing cancer risk. Cancer is a deadly disease affecting millions worldwide. The symptoms manifest after the disease has reached an advanced stage, which makes it difficult to treat. It is advisable to be on the lookout for telltale symptoms and consult a specialist if anything is amiss.