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Signs and Symptoms of Bladder Cancer

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The bladder is an organ in the abdomen that holds urine. It is hollow, and when full, it contracts and pushes urine through the urethra. A tumor that is malignant usually starts in the cells lining the bladder, but other points of origin are also possible.

The symptoms of bladder cancer are associated with other conditions, many of them much less serious. The only way to get a definite diagnosis of any cancer is to have your doctor run tests.

Symptoms of Bladder Cancer

 

Changes in Urinary Habits

A change in urinary habits may be a sign that something is not right. If you notice that you are urinating more frequently, or if incontinence becomes a problem, you should contact your doctor. He or she will be able to examine you and do tests to make a diagnosis.

You may also have blood in the urine, but it may not be visible to the human eye. Many times a urinalysis is the only way to detect blood in the urine.

 

Anemia

Cancer-related anemia is the body’s inability to produce enough red blood cells, either because of the cancer, treatment or because cancer cells present in marrow are crowding out the normal cells.

Bladder cancer or any other kind of cancer can cause anemia by disrupting the kidneys’ production of a hormone that signals the bone marrow to produce red blood cells. It can also keep the body from using stored iron.

 

Bone Pain

If you are bothered by a shooting, stabbing pain, inability to stand straight or limited flexibility, it may be in conjunction with bladder cancer symptoms.

See your doctor right away. He will be able to run several tests to determine the cause of your discomfort, including blood tests, X-rays and MRIs.

 

Testing

Tests that will be performed if your doctor suspects bladder cancer include palpating the pelvic area for tumors, performing a vaginal or rectal exam, urine tests, a “dye” test and a cystoscopy–a procedure where a thin, lighted scope is inserted into the bladder to examine the lining for irregularities.

Many times, only a biopsy can give a definite diagnosis of cancer.

 

Prognosis for Bladder Cancer

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