Bladder cancer is the fifth most common cancer in the United States. Almost 60,000 cases are diagnosed each year, and with more than 12,000 annual deaths. The risk of developing bladder cancer almost doubles in men, Caucasians and smokers compared to that of the general population. When diagnosed and treated in a localized stage, bladder cancer is very treatable, while survival rate is substantially improved.
Smoking is the greatest risk factor for bladder cancer. The incidence increases in people 50 years of age and older. Chronic bladder problems like infections and kidney stones may also be risk factors, although no direct link has been established. Recent studies have shown some linkage between bladder cancer and exposure to certain infectious agents, chemicals, and drugs.
Bladder Cancer Symptoms
The most common symptom of bladder cancer is blood in the urine (hematuria), a condition in which urine appears rusty or deep red in color. However, hematuria is not always detected by the naked eye, and can also be a symptom of other conditions such as kidney stones and urinary tract infection. If you experience hematuria or any of the other bladder cancer symptoms listed below, please consult your doctor:
- Blood in the urine
- Painful urination
- Frequent urination
- Having the urge to urinate, but without result