HealthBladder cancer risks rising: Early detection key to survival

Bladder cancer risks rising: Early detection key to survival

Don’t think it’s old age. This is how bladder cancer manifests.
Don’t think it’s old age. This is how bladder cancer manifests.
Images source: © Adobe Stock | triocean

11:52 AM EDT, July 1, 2024

Bladder cancer occurs almost four times more frequently in men than in women. Unfortunately, 15-25% of cases are detected at an advanced stage because symptoms are often disregarded as natural signs of aging.

The risk group is really large

According to data from the National Cancer Registry, approximately 8,000 new cases of bladder cancer are diagnosed in Poland each year. This problem mainly affects people in the prime of life. In 98% of cases, it affects men over the age of 45, and the risk of developing it increases with age.

Bladder cancer often develops as malignant tumors. The most common type is cancer from the transitional epithelium, which lines the urinary tract and accounts for about 90% of all bladder cancer cases.

The main factors contributing to the development of bladder cancer include exposure to chemical compounds (such as aromatic amines) in certain industrial sectors, including the chemical, rubber, metallurgical, and gas industries. Additionally, stimulants, especially smoking, play a significant role. Chronic bladder inflammation and genetic predispositions are also contributing factors.

Symptoms of bladder cancer are often underestimated

Symptoms that should prompt a diagnosis of bladder cancer include frequent urination, feeling the urgency to urinate without passing urine, discomfort during urination, and the presence of blood in the urine, even in small amounts. Therefore, observing changes in urine is crucial.

These symptoms are often underestimated because they usually do not come with pain. They are often attributed to aging or stress, which is a mistake that can have serious consequences.

Other symptoms of bladder cancer include unexplained weight loss, bone pain, back pain, lower abdominal pain, and chronic fatigue and malaise. Back pain is most often located in the lumbar region.

Conducting appropriate diagnostics is essential because similar symptoms may be associated with urinary tract infections or, in the case of men, prostate cancer. Early detection of bladder cancer is crucial for effective treatment, as the curability of cancer decreases with its advancement.

It is recommended to perform a preventive abdominal ultrasound once a year to monitor health and prevent the development of potential disease. This allows for detecting early cancerous changes that may not yet show any symptoms. Importantly, an ultrasound examination can also help exclude other abdominal ailments.

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