The urologists at Urology Associates provide exceptional treatment for bladder cancer in both men and women.
About Bladder Cancer:
The overwhelming majority of bladder cancer (90%) is transitional cell carcinoma. Transitional cells make up the lining of the bladder which allow the bladder to expand and contract. Like all cancers, these cells become faulty causing them to grow out of control and potentially invade other parts of the body if not caught and treated early.
Cancer can affect anyone and does not discriminate. However, some cancers tend to affect certain populations more than others. One of the biggest risk factors for bladder cancer is smoking. Bladder cancer also tends to affect white males over the age of 40 years old most frequently. Other, less common, risk factors of bladder cancer include certain occupational exposures (rubber, leather, paints, auto workers, beauticians) and frequent bladder infections.
Bladder Cancer Symptoms:
Some of the first symptoms include changes in urination, such as:
- More frequent urination
- Painful urination (dysuria)
- Hesitancy in urination
- Increased urgency in urination
One of the most common symptoms of bladder cancer as it progresses, if painless, is blood in the urine (hematuria). In fact, between 80%-90% of patients with bladder cancer will have blood in their urine. Blood in the urine can be detected by analysis of the urine or be significant enough to be seen with the naked eye without any laboratory testing. Although other conditions can cause blood to be in the urine, a work up is often performed to rule out bladder cancer as a source.
Bladder cancer, like any cancer, can also present with non-specific symptoms such as night sweats, unintentional weight loss, excessive fatigue, lower abdominal or back pain.
How We Diagnose Bladder Cancer:
- Urine analysis (examining a sample of urine) to determine if microscopic blood is present in the urine can be a way to detect bladder cancer. Cytology is also a way to examine a sample of urine for cancer markers that may be present with bladder cancer.
- Cystoscopy, or examining the bladder with a tiny camera is another way to diagnose and even biopsy/treat bladder cancer.
- CT/MRI imaging. Depending on risk factors, findings on urine analysis and overall suspicion, advanced imaging may be used to view the bladder and surrounding organs.
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