Bladder cancer is the fifth most common cause of cancer in the USA and is expected to affect about 76,000 people in 2016, resulting in approximately 16,000 deaths. Having said this, bladder cancer only accounts for 4.6% of all cancers in the USA, so it’s not all that common.
There are three main types of bladder cancer, they are:
- 1. Transitional cell carcinoma, which affects the cells in the innermost tissue layer of the bladder. These are the cells that enable the bladder to expand and contract as it fills and is emptied.
- 2. Squamous cell carcinoma. These are thin, flat cells that develop in the bladder after long term infection or irritation.
- 3. Adenocarcinoma. A cancer that starts in the glandular cells (cells in the lining of the bladder). This is a very rare form of cancer.
Here are 11 symptoms of bladder cancer.
1. Blood in the urine
Blood in the urine is usually the first symptom of bladder cancer. The blood can appear as blood or as clots. It may be enough to colour the urine orange, pink and, in advanced cases, dark red. It can also be sporadic in appearance, there one day and gone the next, but as the cancer advances it will become more pronounced. Generally, in the beginning there will be no pain accompanying the blood but the pain can intensify as the cancer progresses. Blood in the urine does not automatically signify bladder cancer, but should be checked by your doctor or health professional.
2. Pain during urination
Pain, or a burning sensation, when urinating can be an indication that bladder cancer is possible. As with blood in the urine, this pain can increase as the cancer progresses, becoming intense in the latter stages. Pain urinating can have many causes, among others cystitis, urinary tract infections, kidney infections, etc. but it could be an indication that bladder cancer is a possibility. Any pain felt while urinating that persists should raise a warning flag. It would be advisable to schedule an appointment with your doctor or health professional to have it checked.