Did you know that smoking causes about half of all bladder cancers in men and women? The good news, however, is that roughly three-quarters of all patients with bladder cancer are diagnosed at an early stage while it’s still easier to treat. The doctors at Urological Associates have extensive experience diagnosing bladder cancer and providing optimal treatment based on the stage of the cancer. If you notice blood in your urine, call the office in Charlottesville, Virginia, or schedule an appointment online.
The most common type of bladder cancer, called urothelial carcinoma, begins when cells that line the inside of the bladder begin to grow uncontrollably, forming a cancerous tumor.
When bladder cancer goes untreated, it can spread into the muscle layer of the wall (muscle-invasive bladder cancer) and eventually through the wall to your lymph nodes and other parts of your body.
Your chance of developing bladder cancer increases if you have any of these risk factors:
You’re also more susceptible to bladder cancer if you have a family history of the disease.
Unlike many cancers that don’t cause symptoms until later stages, it’s easier to catch bladder cancer at an early stage because it causes urinary tract symptoms such as:
Hematuria (blood in your urine) is often the first sign of bladder cancer. Depending on the amount of blood in your urine, it may appear pink, orange, brownish, and less often, dark red. You may notice blood one day, then it could be gone the next and your urine may stay clear for weeks or months. But if you have cancer, the blood will reappear.
Bladder cancer may cause:
Blood in your urine and changes in urination are symptoms that commonly occur due to problems other than cancer, like a urinary tract infection, an overactive bladder, or an enlarged prostate. But it’s essential to rule out cancer by having your symptoms evaluated by your doctor at Urological Associates.
When bladder cancer is in an early stage, it seldom causes pain. As the tumor grows and spreads, you’ll begin to experience lower back pain and bone pain. Other symptoms of advanced cancer include loss of appetite, swelling in your feet, and fatigue.
Your treatment depends on the stage of your bladder cancer, but your options include:
If you have concerns about bladder cancer, call Urological Associates or book an appointment online.