Bladder cancer refers to the malignant or cancerous growth developing in the urothelium or the epithelial lining found in the urinary bladders of human beings. Bladder cancer is caused by the growth, multiplication and spreading of abnormal cells, that start affecting the normal functioning of the urinary bladder.
Transitional cell carcinoma is the most common type of bladder cancer and has been diagnosed in over 390,000 cases of bladder cancer across the world.
Given below is an insight into some of the important symptoms of bladder cancer.
Symptoms of Bladder Cancer
Haematuria or Blood in the Urine
One of the most important and common symptoms of bladder cancer is blood in the urine or “Haematuria”. The bleeding in the urine may or may not be visible to the naked eye. If the bleeding is in traces then it can only be detected under a microscope and is known as microscopic haematuria. Visible, macroscopic or gross haematuria, refers to blood in the urine that can be seen by the naked eye without any microscopic aid.
Bleeding in the urine is sometimes hard to detect as it is not painful and is not a continuous process. The blood in the urine may come and disappear very suddenly. The presence of blood in the urine may cause discoloration of the same, making it appear red or brown depending on the quantity released. It is not uncommon to find blood clots or streaks of blood in the urine.
Since blood in the urine is one of the most important symptoms of bladder cancer, it is necessary to consult a doctor immediately. A microscopic urine test for checking the presence and nature of blood in the urine is recommended for most patients.
Changes in the Urinary Bladder
Some of the other important symptoms that point to bladder cancer, are sudden changes in the normal functioning of the urinary bladder. If there is an instance of pain during urination or if there is a tendency and desire for frequent visits to the bathroom, then proper checks should be conducted at the earliest.
Sometimes there is a strong need to urinate in some patients but they do not manage to pass urine. These signs and symptoms are not conclusive evidence of the presence of bladder cancer and may arise due to several other reasons such as cystitis, kidney cancer or prostrate infections.
Pain in the Back or Lower Abdomen
Pain in the lower portion of the stomach and back is one of the less common symptoms of bladder cancer. The pain in this abdominal region is usually caused due to the presence of stones in the urinary bladder or the kidney and may not be related to any cancerous growth or tumor.
However it is advisable to consult a general physician if there is a development of any of these symptoms.
Anemia and Reduction in Weight
The symptoms related to anemia and sudden weight loss need to be diagnosed for bladder cancer, if they are accompanied by other common symptoms of the disease. The development of a tumor or cancerous cells in the bladder, leads to a rise in fatigue levels and pain in the bones. These are other signs of bladder cancer that require immediate attention.
Photo Credit: http://www.celebritydiagnosis.com/2010/09/patti-hansen-rock-steady-despite-bladder-cancer/