What is bladder cancer?
Bladder cancer is a malignant condition that may form in the cells of the urinary bladder.
When someone has this type of cancer, the cells of their bladder grow uncontrollably. This can manifest as a tumor (mass), that over time, may spread to distant organs.
Transitional cell carcinoma, also referred to as urothelial carcinoma, is the most common type of bladder cancer.
Symptoms of bladder cancer
Bladder cancer can present with a variety of signs and symptoms, such as:
- Hematuria (Blood in the urine) – This is the earliest sign of bladder cancer in most cases, and is the usual reason patients seek consultation.
- Pain or burning during urination
- Difficulty in urination
- Increased frequency of urination, even at night
- Urinary urgency – the need to urinate immediately, despite your bladder not being full
When to seek consultation with a medical professional
Gross hematuria, or when blood is visible in the urine without examination, is a common sign that warrants medical attention.
Patients who develop this type of hematuria, usually seek medical care immediately. Because of this, doctors can make an early diagnosis.
Early detection increases the chances of successful treatment.
Microscopic hematuria, on the other hand, is blood in the urine detected by a healthcare professional via medical test.
Risk factors in the development of bladder cancer
The following are risk factors that increase the likelihood of development of bladder cancer in patients: