Bladder cancer can go unnoticed because it doesn’t always cause symptoms at first. Even when it does start to cause problems, it can still be missed because the symptoms are so easily confused with other, less serious conditions. Many people ignore the symptoms of bladder cancer because they seem unimportant or wrongly assume that they have a minor issue such as a urine infection. Unfortunately, this means that they aren’t getting the treatment they need as quickly as they could, which can give the cancer a chance to grow larger or even to spread to other parts of the body.
Bladder Cancer Symptoms You Shouldn’t Ignore
The signs of bladder cancer can be easy to miss or dismiss as unimportant. It’s important to be aware that these symptoms could be caused by bladder cancer and need to be investigated by a doctor:
- Needing to urinate more often
- Feeling a sudden, urgent need to urinate
- Pain or burning sensation when you urinate
- Pink or brown colour in your urine
- Blood in your urine (which may show up in a urine test even if you can’t see it)
- Pain on one side of your lower back, without any injuries
- Pain in your pelvic area
If you have these symptoms, then it doesn’t mean you definitely have bladder cancer. In fact, it is more likely that you have a minor issue such as an infection. However, it’s vital not to dismiss these symptoms as there is a chance that you need treatment for a more serious condition.
Other symptoms can also develop later on as the cancer grows or begins to spread. Symptoms such as pelvic and back pain can be more likely as the cancer becomes more advanced. You could also experience problems such as loss of appetite, weight loss, anaemia or swelling in your lower legs. The urinary symptoms can also get worse. In some cases, it can become difficult to pass urine at all.
Why Is It Important to Notice the Signs of Bladder Cancer?
Many cases of bladder cancer are diagnosed after blood is detected during a routine urine test that’s being done for other reasons, which means that the problem is only detected by chance. Too many people are ignoring the warning signs and failing to seek help as quickly as they should. Although most cases of bladder cancer are diagnosed while it is still in the early stages, approximately 1 in 4 bladder cancers have already reached stage III or IV. Many of these advanced cancers have already spread to other parts of the body.
It’s important to be aware of the signs of bladder cancer and to seek help if you think that you might be affected. In most cases, these symptoms will be caused by a UTI or another easy to treat condition. However, in a small number of cases they can be signs of bladder cancer. Seeing a doctor as soon as you notice the symptoms will ensure that you get the treatment you need as soon as possible if you do have bladder cancer. The earlier we start treatment, the better the chances of successfully beating bladder cancer.