Identifying Bladder Cancer Signs and Symptoms for Patients in Connecticut, Maryland, and New Jersey
When bladder cancer develops, some patients experience noticeable signs and symptoms while others have none. Symptoms that do manifest can mimic those of other conditions, so it’s important to choose a care provider with the expertise to know the difference. At Regional Cancer Care Associates, our patients in Connecticut, Maryland, and New Jersey rely on the unmatched credentials of our team to receive an accurate diagnosis and customized treatment plan.
What Is Bladder Cancer?
Bladder cancer is common, affecting nearly 68,000 Americans every year. It begins in the urothelial cells that line the inside of the bladder, the organ responsible for storing urine, and can also develop in other areas of the urinary tract. As cells experience a DNA mutation and divide out of control, tumors then develop, causing symptoms in some patients and no signs or symptoms in others. Although bladder cancer can occur in anyone at any age, it is typically found in older adults and is more common in men than women.
Signs and Symptoms
As with any form of cancer, each patient will experience different signs and symptoms at varying levels of severity. The most common bladder cancer symptoms include:
- Frequent urination
- Hematuria, a condition defined by blood or blood clots in urine
- Burning feeling or discomfort when urinating
- Pain in the lower back on one side of the body or pelvis
- Urges to urinate frequently overnight
- Inability to pass urine when urges arise
- Unexplained weight or appetite loss
Some patients don’t notice bladder cancer symptoms until the cancer has already metastasized, or spread to other areas. If this is the case, other symptoms will vary based on where the cancer has reached and may include:
- New, persistent cough
- Shortness of breath
- Pain in the abdominal region
- Yellowing of the skin and whites of eyes (jaundice)
- Bone pain or fractures
If you notice any of these signs or other concerning symptoms, immediately schedule a visit with your doctor.
Screening and Diagnosis
To correctly diagnose your condition, the physicians at Regional Cancer Care Associates will first take a medical history and ask about your symptoms and risk factors. With this information in mind, they can use a variety of screening methods to determine whether cancer is present.
The most common screening method for bladder cancer is a urinalysis, which tests the urine for abnormalities. The disease is frequently diagnosed when patients find blood in their urine. However, urinalysis can confirm whether trace amounts of blood not visible to the naked eye exist in the patient’s urine, a condition called microscopic hematuria. A more advanced method, urine cytology, can also detect the presence of cancer cells in urine.
Your physician may use other diagnostic screenings, from blood tests to computerized tomography (CT) scans, to confirm your diagnosis. If a tumor is found, your physician will likely perform a biopsy to determine whether it is benign.
Learn More Today
If you or a loved one is experiencing suspected bladder cancer symptoms, contact Regional Cancer Care Associates today. With numerous locations throughout Connecticut, Maryland, and New Jersey, we can give you peace of mind with a fast, accurate diagnosis and provide targeted treatments to eliminate bladder cancer and restore quality of life.