Bladder cancer is one alarming type of cancer that everyone should be aware of. According to cancer.org, there were more than 76,000 cases and over 16,000 deaths related to bladder cancer in the US in 2016 alone. Unfortunately, bladder cancer does not get as much exposure as other leading cancers. In this article, learn about eight less-known facts about this type of cancer.
It can easily be confused with prostate cancer, UTIs, or STIs
Because bladder cancer has symptoms such as bloody urine and pain when urinating, it is easily confused with prostate cancer, urinary tract infections (UTIs), and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). If you have the same symptoms, have your doctor rule out bladder cancer before commencing any type of medication.
Most bladder cancer cases are diagnosed early
Luckily, most cases of bladder cancer are diagnosed early because they are very noticeable. It is impossible for one to have bladder cancer and not notice the symptoms (even though they may not know it’s bladder cancer at the time). This leads to an early diagnosis in affected persons.
The cancer tumor will continue to grow until recovered
Bladder cancer is characterized by a tumor growing along the bladder lining. Until the growth is detected, diagnosed, and removed, it will continue to grow and may eventually become metastatic (affect surrounding tissue).
Low-grade tumors often re-occur
At its early stages (low grade) bladder cancer tumors tend to re-occur even after they have been removed. There is, therefore, a great need for one to seek continuous screening and testing even if the symptoms cease.
High-grade cancer can be life-threatening
Once bladder cancer develops and becomes metastatic, it is referred to as high-grade cancer. At this point, it may spread to other vital tissues to a point where it causes death.
In high-grade infections, the bladder may need to be removed
One of the treatment options for high-grade bladder cancer is to remove the bladder altogether. This procedure is carried out to prevent recurrent growths or to prevent the tumor(s) from spreading to other tissues in the body. In turn, a prosthetic bladder is fitted in the patient thereafter.
Bladder cancer affects more men than women
Statistics show that bladder cancer affects men by up to 4 times more than women. The causes for this vary from person to person and are not general in nature.
Bladder cancer is mostly found in older adults
Another important fact about bladder cancer is that it is commonly detected and diagnosed in older persons, mostly aged 60+. This, however, does not mean that only older persons are affected. Younger people are at risk too.