Learn How To Spot Early Signs Of Bladder Cancer
The bladder is that organ which holds urine in your body. Therefore, most of the symptoms of this disease are linked to changes in the urine.
Bladder cancer, usually, does not show any symptoms
- Early signs of bladder cancer include the appearance of blood in urine
- Superficial bladder cancer is spotted in 75% cases
- Bladder cancer is painful when urine is obstructed
The bladder is that organ which holds urine in your body. Therefore, most of the symptoms of this disease are linked to changes in the urine. Urologist Dr. Rajeev Sood says, "Mostly the early signs of bladder cancer include the appearance of blood in urine. It can also be irritating at times and painful. The causes are mainly hereditary. It is more common in India because of the high incidence of smoking. In India, two types of tobacco are used, smoking and non-smoking tobacco. Both of them are responsible for bladder cancer. The sex ratio in the country is 8:1 among men and women respectively. Men happen to smoke more than a woman which is why they are more likely to develop this cancer."
Types of bladder cancer
"There are two types of cancers in bladder cancer, namely superficial bladder cancer and deep bladder cancer. Superficial bladder cancer is spotted in 75% cases and deep bladder cancer is spotted in 25% cases. DBC is when the muscle gets involved. The symptoms are mostly the same. However, these two are considered different conditions. Usually, SBC becomes DBC. Some forms of cancer are so aggressive that they are DBC right from the beginning. They are known as muscle-invasive cancers and they spread easily to other parts," Dr. Sood added.
When does bladder cancer get painful?
"It happens to be painful when blood clots form around the bladder and block the area which makes urination a painful process. It can also lead to urine retention. However, this is different from UTI symptoms because a UTI patient experiences pain and a burning sensation while peeing. Besides this, UTIs may also be accompanied by fever. Bladder cancer, on the other hand, does not show any symptoms. It is painful only when urine is obstructed or if cancer has advanced to higher stages and has invaded nearby muscles," he explained.
Take a look at the three major symptoms of bladder cancer.
1. Blood in urine (hematuria)
The first sign of bladder cancer is spotting blood in the urine. This is known as hematuria. Urine may either turn into a strange yellow-red color; in very rare cases it turns dark red. In some cases, the urine may not show any changes but when examined medically, it may show a trace of blood. Hematuria may not necessarily be due to cancer. It could be due to bladder stones, kidney stones, infections or a benign kidney disease. If you spot blood in your urine, you must get it checked by an expert to know the exact reason responsible.
2. Changes in urinating habits
You may need to urinate more frequently; it could be painful and may even give you a burning sensation. In some cases, you may urinate in a start and stop and start the flow. As and when cancer spreads, you may experience pain in the lower back area, your bones, and feet. Unexplained weight loss may also take place. You may also fail to urinate after some time.
3. Frequent UTIs
If you are getting affected by a UTI too often, you must get diagnosed with bladder cancer risk.
(Dr. Rajeev Sood is the Dean and Head of the Department of Urology)
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