Bladder cancer is one of those cancers that has a pretty low level of awareness in the public eye. It is not as deadly as some (14,680 estimated deaths in 2010) but 70,530 new cases (also estimated here) are not to be dismissed completely. Some of the most common symptoms can be attributed to other things, and the true cause of a patient's discomfort can be unknown for a while. Symptoms include:
- Frequent urination
- Painful urination
- Urinary tract infection
- Abdominal pain
- Back pain
- Blood in urine (hematuria) — urine may appear dark yellow, bright red or cola colored; or urine may appear normal, but blood may be detected in a microscopic examination of the urine.
Most cases of bladder cancer are found in white males over the age of 40, but as with all other cancers - there are exceptions. Don't hesitate to visit with your doctor if you are experiencing unusual symptoms like those listed above - especially if they continue after being treated for an initial diagnosis.
Bladder cancer has the dubious honor of being number one in recurrence rate after initial treatment and remission. For that reason, there will be follow up visits and screenings for many years for victims of the disease.
More information about bladder can be found at MayoClinic.com and the National Cancer Institute website. If you live in Northwest Arkansas and need help quitting your tobacco habit, contact us to speak to someone about our one-on-one smoking cessation counseling services that are provided at no charge. If you live outside Northwest Arkansas, the SmokeFree.gov website has lots of great information that can help you be smoke-free and lower your risk of cancer (and that of your loved-ones) significantly.