While many people will experience symptoms that aid in the detection of bladder cancer, others will report not experiencing any problems that are often associated with the disease. While every person is different, it is important to understand that symptoms associated with bladder cancer could also indicate the presence of other problematic urologic conditions.
Bladder Cancer Symptoms
Thus, it is important to consult with your urologist should you experience any of the following bladder cancer symptoms:
- Blood in urine (hematuria)
- Painful urination
- Pelvic pain
If you have hematuria, your urine may appear bright red or cola colored. Sometimes, urine may not look any different, but blood in urine may be detected during a microscopic exam of the urine.
People with bladder cancer might also experience these symptoms:
- Back pain
- Frequent urination
But, these symptoms often occur because of something other than bladder cancer.
What causes bladder cancer?
It is not always clear what causes bladder cancer. Bladder cancer has been linked to smoking, radiation and chemical exposure.
Smoking cigarettes, cigars or pipes may increase your risk of bladder cancer by causing harmful chemicals to accumulate in your urine. When you smoke, your body processes these chemicals in the smoke and excretes some of them into your urine. These harmful chemicals may damage the lining of your bladder, which can increase your risk of cancer.
Exposure to certain chemicals can also increase your risk of developing bladder cancer. Your kidneys play a key role in filtering harmful chemicals from your bloodstream and moving them into your bladder. Therefore, breathing in, absorbing or ingesting certain chemicals may increase your risk of bladder cancer. Chemicals linked to bladder cancer risk include arsenic and chemicals used in the manufacturing of dyes, rubber, leather, textiles and paint products. Smokers who are exposed to toxic chemicals may have an even higher risk of bladder cancer.
Bladder Cancer Tumor Stage
Before any treatment begins, your urologist must first know how far the tumor has progressed or moved. The tumor stage and tumor grade provide information about the tumor and how serious it is. Based on that information, your urologist can recommend a course of treatment.
The following are the stages of bladder cancer:
- Ta: Non-invasive papillary carcinoma
- Tis: Carcinoma in situ—A high-grade cancer that appears as a flat, reddish, velvety patch on the bladder lining
- T1: Tumor goes through the bladder lining but does not reach the muscle layer of the bladder
- T2a and T2b: Tumor goes into the muscle layer of the bladder
- T3a and T3b: Tumor goes past the muscle layer into tissue surrounding the bladder
- T4a and T4b: Tumor has spread to neighboring lymph nodes or to distant sites (metastatic disease)
Adult Pediatric Urology & Urogynecology, PC
We’re studying new approaches to treating bladder cancers, and we come closer to finding exciting solutions every day. One of the most important goals we have is to develop new and improved treatments for people with bladder cancer who are not helped by standard treatments.
Our clinical trials in Omaha are open to newly diagnosed patients as well as people who’ve already had standard treatment.
Clinical Research in Omaha
Our Clinical Research Department was developed to fulfill our mission to provide high-quality patient centered care. When existing treatments fail or significantly lower your quality of life we seek out new, safe methods that give you more options and make further advancements in the fields of urology and urogynecology.