When diagnosed early, bladder cancer doesn’t have to be life-threatening. However, it tends to be aggressive and, therefore, causes patients to have to undergo difficult treatments and procedures. The average age when bladder cancer is diagnosed in most patients is 73. Let’s look at the signs, causes, and prevention methods.
The Most Common Signs
Blood in the urine is the most common symptom of bladder cancer, and this situation demands urgent urologic evaluation. If the evaluation is delayed in the belief that something else might be causing the problem, crucial steps in early care will be missed.
A DNA urine test has been developed that can detect mutations up to 10 years before clinical diagnosis. These non-invasive tests could significantly improve the early detection of bladder cancer.
It might be a surprise, but smoking is a significant risk factor for bladder cancer. This is because the inhaled chemicals are excreted into the bladder and held before they are voided. All this causes changes to the inner lining of the bladder. Other risk factors are found in rural environments, where pesticides can sometimes be found in groundwater or are arsenic-based.
Old age increases the risk of any type of cancer, but certain lifestyles significantly increase the possibility of developing bladder cancer. Repeated exposure to risk factors can lead to the accumulation of genetic changes that cause the development of cancer.
A higher level of awareness, avoiding exposure to toxic chemicals, as well as a healthy lifestyle and balanced diet, may significantly decrease the risk of bladder cancer development.