As women, we are told throughout life to specifically watch out for one type of cancer: breast cancer. Many of us know we should pay attention to any changes in our breasts, like lumps or rashes, and some of us even know how to perform breast exams on ourselves. The problem is that there are many other types of cancer that women should know about, including bladder cancer. The bladder, a balloon-shaped organ that stores urine in the pelvis, can become cancerous, like many other organs. Luckily, bladder cancer can often be found early because there are many noticeable symptoms. Many bladder cancer symptoms are easy to ignore, so if you notice that you have any of them, you should take special note. Read on to find out the 10 bladder cancer symptoms and signs everyone should know about.
What Is Bladder Cancer?
According to the Mayo Clinic, bladder cancer usually begins in the cells that line the inside of the bladder. Generally, bladder cancer affects older adults, but it can affect people of any age. Most cases of bladder cancer are diagnosed early, when the cancer is very treatable. Unfortunately, bladder cancer, even early stage, often recurs. Because of this, survivors of bladder cancer usually undergo a lot of follow-up tests.
Bladder Cancer Symptoms
1. Blood In The Urine
The American Cancer Society explains that the first symptom many people experience when they have bladder cancer is blood in their urine. The amount of blood may vary. Sometimes there will be so much blood that the urine stream will be a different color, while other times it won’t even be noticeable. Often, blood in the urine may come and go, but it’s worth bringing up with your doctor if you notice any blood in your urine stream. Although there’s a chance that blood in the urine means you have bladder cancer, there are also a variety of other reasons you might experience bloody urine, like infection, kidney or bladder stones, or noncancerous tumors.
2. Frequent Urination
Sometimes, but not always, bladder cancer will cause a change in your urination habits, or cause bladder irritation. One change some people notice is the need to urinate more often. Some people also feel like they need to pee right away, even when they don’t have a full bladder.