July is Bladder Cancer Awareness Month! Bladder cancer occurs predominantly in elderly men and less frequently in women and younger men. Many bladder cancers are thought to be caused by exposure to cancer-causing agents that pass through the urine and come into contact with the bladder lining. The most important risk factor for bladder cancer is smoking, which increases risk by at least four-fold.
The most common sign of bladder cancer is hematuria or blood in the urine,
which will turn the urine rust or red in color. Other signs of bladder
cancer may include pain during urination and frequent urination. Most
patients with bladder cancer do not have symptoms other than hematuria.
Unfortunately, most bladder cancers are not diagnosed until they have
become very large. As a result, research is ongoing in order to develop
urine tests that would enable earlier detection of bladder cancer when
it is small and more easily treated.
Bladder Cancer Statistics