Health Care

What Is Bladder Cancer?

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Bladder cancer is cancer that starts in the lining of the bladder, and like other cancers, bladder cancer is “staged” according to its degree of progression, or how much it has spread.

Our experts are here to provide information about how bladder cancer develops, risk factors for bladder cancer, symptoms and treatment options.

What Are the Risk Factors for Bladder Cancer?

The biggest risk factor for developing bladder cancer is smoking. In fact, if you smoke, your chances of developing bladder cancer are more than double what they are for non-smokers.

Other possible causes and contributors may include chemical exposures in the workplace — especially exposure to chemicals employed in the manufacturing of dyes, but also to those used in producing rubber, leather, paint products and certain textiles.

Here is a synopsis of bladder cancer risk factors:

  • Age (older than 55)
  • Being male
  • Bladder inflammation
  • Chemical exposure
  • Family or personal cancer history
  • Previous cancer treatment
  • Smoking

How Does Bladder Cancer Develop?

The bladder is a hollow organ in the lower pelvis that stores urine. When you urinate, the muscles in the walls of the bladder contract, and urine is forced out of the bladder through a tube called the urethra.

Bladder cancer develops when cells that make up the urinary bladder start to grow out of control. As more cancer cells develop, they can form a tumor and, with time, spread (or metastasize) to other parts of the body.

What Are the Symptoms of Bladder Cancer?

Bladder cancer signs and symptoms can include:

  • Back pain
  • Blood in urine (hematuria), which may cause urine to appear bright red or cola colored
  • Frequent urination
  • Painful urination

If you notice discolored urine and are concerned it could contain blood, make an appointment with your doctor to get it checked right away. Reach out to your doctor if you have any other signs or symptoms that worry you.

What Are Bladder Cancer Treatment Options?

Treatments for bladder cancer can include intravesical therapy (where therapeutic drugs are injected directly into the bladder) as well a surgical interventions, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Don’t Suffer in Silence

We understand urologic issues can be hard to talk about. But you don’t have to feel embarrassed. Our urology specialists will listen to and address your symptoms and concerns with uncommon compassion and expertise.

Using state-of-the-art technology — which includes minimally invasive surgical options — we’ll create a tailored treatment plan so you can feel like yourself again.

Put your health first. Visit us here to learn more.

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