Every year, around 75,000 American adults get bladder cancer. If you’ve experienced blood in your urine, pain during urination, or frequent urination, these could be symptoms of bladder cancer and should be checked out immediately by a healthcare professional.
Our board-certified urologists at Urology of Greater Atlanta have extensive experience diagnosing and treating bladder cancer. Call or make an appointment online to book a consultation at one of our many locations throughout Georgia!
What Is Bladder Cancer?
Bladder cancer is cancer that usually begins in the cells that line the inside of the bladder. The disease is more common in older adults and far more prevalent among men than women. It occurs when the cells of the bladder start to grow abnormally, ultimately forming a tumor.
While the cancer begins in the bladder, it’s not uncommon to see it spread throughout the urinary system into other parts of the body. Fortunately, the disease is highly curable when caught early.
What Are the Risk Factors for Bladder Cancer?
The specific causes of bladder cancer aren’t fully understood. However, medical researchers have identified several risk factors, including the following:
Since your body excretes the chemicals from tobacco smoke through the urine, the bladder’s lining is continuously exposed to the harmful effects of tobacco.
While bladder cancer can affect anyone at any age, it is generally found in patients over 40, and the risk increases as you get older.
Bladder cancer can affect both men and women, but it is more frequently diagnosed in men.
The risk increases if you have a family history of bladder cancer or cancerous cells, as you may have inherited cells that grow abnormally. Personal history also increases the risk. If you have had bladder cancer before, you are more likely to get it again.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Bladder Cancer?
Bladder cancer causes many symptoms, including:
- Blood in the urine (hematuria)
- Frequent urination
- Painful urination
- Lower back pain
Since bladder cancer symptoms mimic symptoms of several other concerns, you should schedule an appointment for a diagnosis. Early diagnosis increases your chances of successful treatment.
How Is Bladder Cancer Diagnosed?
A healthcare professional will diagnose bladder cancer by reviewing your symptoms, medical history, and lifestyle. They order blood tests, urinalysis, and urine cytology. Depending on your lab test results, your physician might recommend a cystoscopy or a biopsy to examine the cells of your bladder in more detail and confirm your diagnosis.
How Is Bladder Cancer Treated?
After your diagnosis, your urologist creates a customized treatment plan to treat and remove your cancer. Depending on your needs, your doctor might recommend Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) intravesical therapy. In severe cases, your doctor might suggest a removal procedure, including transurethral resection of bladder tumor (TURBT) and partial or radical cystectomy.
If you’re concerned about bladder cancer or have any abnormal urinary symptoms, contact Urology of Greater Atlanta or make an appointment online today! We have multiple locations throughout Georgia for your convenience.
Our urologist team operates out of many locations and a surgical center to serve the needs of all Northern Georgia residents.