The important symptoms of bladder cancer to remember
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Most cases of bladder cancer appear to be caused by exposure to harmful substances, the NHS verified; in particular, tobacco smoke is the reason behind one in three cases of the disease. Around 10,200 people are diagnosed with bladder cancer each year in the UK, reported Cancer Research UK. The bladder acts like an inflatable balloon that stores up to 400ml of urine.
Made up of muscle tissue, this stretchy bag releases urine into the urethra for waste products to exit the body.
Understandably, a tumour growing in the stretchy and muscular bag, known as the bladder, may cause urinary issues.
When on the toilet, the charity warns both sexes – men and women – of seeing blood in their urine.
Around 80 percent of bladder cancer causes some blood in the urine, so it’s a key warning sign.
The shade of the blood is most commonly bright red, although it may look dark brown.
Sometimes the amount of blood in the urine is so tiny that only a urine test will pick up on it.
“The blood may not be there all the time. It can come and go. But if you ever see blood in your urine, you should go to your GP,” said the charity.
Other toiletry issues to pay attention to is if your passing urine more frequently than usual.
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Also take note if you feel a sense of urgency when you need to visit the loo, as this too can be a sign of cancer.
Pain or a burning sensation when passing urine could also be a telling sign.
Aside from toilet troubles, other indications of bladder cancer include:
- Unexplained weight loss
- Pain in your back, lower tummy or bones
- Feeling tired and unwell
It is possible for these symptoms to be caused by other health conditions, such as a urine infection.
A urine infection is more likely if you do not have blood in your urine.
These symptoms could also be attributed to an enlarged prostate in a man, which is very common in older age.
Speaking to your doctor as soon as you notice these symptoms can identify what the condition is.
If it’s a urine infection, for example, than antibiotics will clear up the symptoms very quickly.
In some cases, you GP might request a urine sample so that it can be tested for traces of blood, bacteria, or abnormal cells.
The NHS added: “If your doctor suspects bladder cancer, you’ll be referred to a hospital for further tests.”
Risk factors for bladder cancer include:
- Tobacco smoking
- Working in manufacturing jobs, such as plastics
- Repeated UTIs
- Long-term bladder stones
If bladder cancer spreads through the lymphatic system then the cancer becomes more dangerous.
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