Bladder cancer is the fourth most common cancer in UK men with around 7,500 cases each year. It can be effectively treated however many men still die each year – mainly because the cancer is detected in its late stages. Risk factors for the disease include increasing age, smoking, family history and chronic infection caused by the tropical disease bilharzia.
The most common sign of bladder cancer is painless blood in the urine (haematuria), which may come and go. Other symptoms may include a burning sensation when passing urine, need to pass urine frequently, blood clots or obstruction to the flow of urine.
Can It Be Treated?
The treatment for bladder cancer depends upon the type of cancer and whether it is superficial or invasive. Options include surgical resection, chemotherapy,
immunotherapy and radiotherapy.
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If bladder problems are suspected, your urine can be tested with a “dipstick” to look for blood, infection, protein and other parameters.
If the result is positive for the presence of blood, in the absence of an obvious cause, further testing will be needed.
Several causes such as vigorous exercise and lifting can result in blood in the urine.
A further positive test may warrant further investigations including x-rays, scans and cystoscopy (camera test to see inside the bladder).