May is Bladder Cancer Awareness Month. Bladder cancer, a type of cancer that forms in the tissue of the bladder, is the fourth most common cancer in men. Despite this, bladder cancer awareness remains surprisingly low. It is important to understand the symptoms of bladder cancer and who it affects, as well as measures you can take to prevent it.
Changes in bladder habits or symptoms of irritation
Having to urinate more frequently
Pain or burning during urination
Having trouble urinating or having a weak urine stream
Feeling as if you need to go right away, even when the bladder is not full
Symptoms of advanced bladder cancer include:
Being unable to urinate
Lower back pain on one side
Loss of appetite and weight loss
Feeling tired or weak
Swelling in the feet
Understanding the symptoms of bladder cancer can lead to early detection, which improves the chances of being treated successfully. Often times, these symptoms are caused by a multitude of things other than bladder cancer, but it is still important to have them checked so that the cause can be found and treated if need be.
The American Cancer Society also lists some statistics that we should be aware of:
Smokers are 3 times more likely to get bladder cancer than nonsmokers.
About 9 out of 10 people with bladder cancer are over the age of 55.
Men are about 3 to 4 times more likely to develop bladder cancer than women.
Whites are about 2 times more likely to develop bladder cancer than African Americans and Hispanics.
Jeffery Nix, M.D., assistant professor in the UAB Department of Urology and associate scientist in the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center says, "For bladder cancer patients, median age of diagnosis is 75. About 50 percent of cases are related to smoking, so they'll have other health issues as well. They also have high complication rates after surgery."
The UAB urology program is one of the few nationally ranked urology programs in the Southeast. Patients that choose the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center for their genitourinary cancer will receive treatment from highly reputable urologists, as well as a personal care plan that utilizes the latest technology and techniques.
To learn more or schedule an appointment, visit our website.
UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center