The most common first symptom of bladder cancer is blood being present in the urine. This symptom does not necessarily indicate bladder cancer, but a person with urine which is red, orange, or a bit reddish should have it evaluated by a urologist.
The presence of blood in urine is called hematuria, and it can also be a sign of kidney stones, bladder stones, an infection, or a benign tumor. It is very easy to misdiagnose bladder cancer initially, because its symptoms are shared with a number of benign conditions – such as a urinary tract infection (UTI), benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or painful urination.
A main signal of bladder cancer is the passage of tissue when urinating. If you are noticing or experiencing anything unusual, report these changes to a urologist. The physician will conduct various tests to properly diagnose your urinary condition.
Early Symptoms of Bladder Cancer
Besides the obvious hematuria (blood in the urine), other warning signs of bladder cancer are far less obvious. It could present as a pain in the tummy area that radiates to the back, or a burning sensation when urinating. Other signs include having a weak urine stream, sudden urgency to urinate, and urinating with an increasing frequency.
Later Signs of Bladder Cancer
By the time advanced symptoms of bladder cancer appear, the symptoms would be based on the location of the body to which the cancer has spread. If it metastasizes to the lungs, it may result in a chronic cough and shortness of breath. If it travels to the liver, the person will present jaundice. If it spreads to the bones, it can create pain in the bones that are affected – especially if it is accompanied by rapid weight loss or a loss of appetite.
Advanced bladder cancer also has indicators that resemble those of other conditions. These signs include the inability to urinate, lower back pain on one side, swelling in the feet, and a general feeling of malaise and fatigue. Anyone presenting with all of these symptoms needs medical attention promptly in order to seek a diagnosis.
Urology in Nashville
Even though these symptoms listed above usually indicate other issues, it is important to have it checked by a urologist in order to treat it. If you do have bladder cancer and it is caught early, it can be successfully treated via chemotherapy, surgery, and/or radiation.
Bladder cancer tends to easily metastasize (spread) to other organs and tissues, which is why early detection is key. A skilled urologist is the best physician to determine whether your symptoms indicate bladder cancer or something else.
If you are in the Nashville area, contact us to schedule a consultation at Knoll Urology, home of world-renowned Dr. L. Dean Knoll. He has performed urologic procedures on every continent in the world, and he is an innovator in the field of urology.
Call us today to schedule a consultation at (615) 622-5033 or request an appointment online, and be proactive about your health. We look forward to seeing you.