7 Symptoms of Bladder Cancer

As one of the most common forms of cancer, bladder cancer affects roughly 70,000 adults in the U.S. every year. It is more commonly diagnosed in men than woman and typically affects older adults than younger, but bladder cancer can occur in men and women of all ages. There are several different types of bladder cancer, though it most often starts in the lining of a person’s bladder.

The bladder is an essential part of the urinary tract that has the function of storing urine before it is ready to be released. When cells in your bladder begin to grow uncontrollably, they can form tumor/s that cause serious damage and spread to other parts of the body. Luckily, this type of cancer can be treated successfully when it is diagnosed and treated early.

Many risk factors are associated with this type of cancer, but it can affect anyone. People who smoke, have been exposed to certain chemicals or radiation, have chronic irritation of the bladder, and those who are above the age of 60 are considered to be at the highest risk for this type of cancer. Men, Caucasians, and those with a family history of cancer are also more susceptible to bladder cancer than others.

1. Blood in Urine

Finding blood in the urine is considered to be not only the most common symptom, but also the earliest sign of bladder cancer. The earliest stages of bladder cancer can cause little to no pain at all, and symptoms may be barely noticeable. It is estimated that about 80-90% of people who get diagnosed with this type of cancer experience hematuria (blood or blood clots in urine). Most people who experience this also report that is not painful, and its degree can vary with each person.

Experiencing blood in your urine can be different for everyone. It can be infrequent or frequent and have an unspecified amount of time between occurrences. Many people ignore this sign because it could happen rarely and without any pain or discomfort. If the blood is concentrated enough for you to notice, it could look bright red, pink or even a darker, cola-like color. There can also be smaller amounts of blood in your urine that can only be seen via a urine test.

Urine that contains blood can also be caused by a wide array of other things. While blood in your urine certainly doesn’t mean you have bladder cancer, it is the most common symptom; an important symptom to discuss with your doctor.