Your bladder is a muscular organ in the shape of a pouch. It’s characterized by its ability to compress and dilate when it stores the urine that is produced by your kidneys.
Cancer affecting the bladder originates when malignant cells begin to grow uncontrollably along the inner membrane, forming tumors.
Most cases of bladder cancer begin in the urothelium, the innermost lining of this organ.
Timely detection is critical to avoid tragic consequences because within days it can spread to other areas of your bladder and nearby tissues.
One problem, however, is the fact that many of the early symptoms can be misinterpreted thanks to their relationships with other conditions, making the correct diagnosis difficult for many patients.
This means it is essential to be on the lookout for any signs, especially if you have some of the risk factors like smoking and exposure to toxic chemicals.
Today we’ll share seven of the main symptoms with you, so you won’t hesitate to contact your doctor if you experience them.
Find out what they are!
1. Blood in the urineThe presence of blood in the urine is one of the earliest symptoms of bladder cancer.
- It can vary in quantity but in general, it will occur intermittently.
- Some patients will notice that their urine has changed to a pinkish hue, or in rare cases, darker red.
- In other cases, the color of the urine appears normal to the naked eye. However, doctors may detect small traces of blood upon a medical examination.
- These symptoms can persist for several weeks in a row, or they may appear one day and disappear the next.
- If you don’t treat this disease, blood in the urine will return in the future.
See also: 8 types of urine indicating your health
2. Changes in your urination habits
You should consider changes in urination habits as a possible sign of bladder cancer because they’re almost always caused by an infection.
This could mean a rapid cancer diagnosis.
Consult your doctor if you notice any of the following:
- A recurrent need to go to the bathroom, even when your bladder is empty
- Increased urge to urinate at night
- The flow of urine is weak
- You feel burning when you urinate
3. Pain on one side of the backUrinary infections, as well as kidney stones and bladder cancer, can cause uncomfortable pain on one side of the lower back.
Although it might initially be confused with muscle pain, recurrence and intensity will clue you into the fact that something else has happened.
It’s important to pay attention to this, especially when it’s accompanied by noticeable changes in the urine.
4. Loss of appetite
There are many factors to analyze when someone loses their appetite. Among them is the possibility that it’s due to a type of cancer.
Patients who develop tumors in the bladder have an ongoing feeling of heaviness that can prevent them from enjoying food like they used to.
5. Weight loss
A loss of appetite and the stress of cancer can combine to cause a patient to lose weight at an alarming weight.
Severe nutritional deficiencies can result, and as your immune defenses are weakened the cancer cells are even more likely to develop.
Fluid retention, or edema, is a consequence of the body’s inflammatory response when it’s under attack from cancerous cells.
In this particular case, it will be most obvious in the stomach and legs because your bladder is no longer able to properly eliminate fluids.
We recommend reading: 7 foods to fight liver and pancreas inflammation
7. Feelings of fatigue and anemiaAnother consequence of the loss of appetite due to bladder cancer is a strong sense of fatigue, typically associated with anemia.
When you lack nutrients, your production of blood cells decreases and you get less oxygen to your cells, resulting in physical and mental fatigue.
To conclude, the symptoms we described above could be perfectly harmless or indicative of a less serious condition. Still, you should have the proper medical exams to determine if they might relate to bladder cancer.
Like other forms of this disease, rapid detection is the key to a successful treatment.