Possibly the best way to reduce your risk of developing bladder cancer is to quit smoking and to eliminate environmental hazards that may be linked to causing cancer. Although the exact cause of bladder cancer is uncertain, it has been reported that women who have previously undergone radiation therapy for cervical cancer are at a higher risk of developing bladder cancer.
Symptoms of Bladder Cancer
While most of the symptoms listed below can be associated with bladder cancer, they can also be associated with non-cancerous conditions. Nevertheless, medical evaluation is critical.
- Blood in the urine
- Urinary frequency
- Painful urination
- Urinary urgency
Additional symptoms that may be associated with this disease:
- Urinary incontinence
- Bone pain or tenderness
- Abdominal pain
- Weight loss
- Lethargy (tiredness)
Detecting Bladder Cancer
If you or your physician suspects that you may have bladder cancer, your physician may perform a number of diagnostic tests, including:
- Urine cytology (microscopic exam of urine to look for cancerous cells)
- Cystoscopy (use of lighted instrument to view inside of bladder)
- Bladder biopsy (usually performed during cystoscopy)
- Intravenous pyelogram (IVP) (to evaluate the upper urinary tract for tumors or blockage)
A physical examination will also be performed, usually including a rectal and pelvic exam.