Bladder Cancer Can Be Diagnosed Early: Here Are the Major Symptoms

The American Cancer Society data shows that 82,290 Americans will have a bladder cancer diagnosis this year.

And, around 90 percent of them will be older than 55. The average age of diagnosis with this cancer is 73. 

Most patients with bladder cancer have non-threatening cancer; however, the symptoms tend to be aggressive, according to experts. Also, bladder cancer is recurrent and requires patients to undergo various procedures and treatments. 

Unfortunately, approximately 20 percent of patients with this type of cancer have an invasive form that demands stronger treatments. In these cases, the disease is life-threatening. 

What’s the Survival Rate of Bladder Cancer?

The survival rates for this cancer are the following:

  • 5-year survival rate for bladder cancer patients is 77 percent
  • 10-year survival rate for bladder cancer patients is 70 percent
  • 15-year survival rate for bladder cancer patients is 65 percent

These rates and percentages may vary due to external factors like the person’s overall health and exposure to risk factors like smoking and working with toxins and chemicals. 

The Early Signs of Bladder Cancer 

Bleeding in the urine or hematuria

Patients will notice blood in their urine or be diagnosed with one via a urine test. If this is the case, it’s essential to proceed with urologic tests and treatment. 

Delay in diagnosis is one of the major issues so it has to be addressed as soon as possible. 

Patients with bladder cancer may also complain of pain during urination and frequent urination that keeps them up at night. 

A urine DNA test may show mutations up to a decade before a diagnosis, according to the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer. 

Moreover, there’s a simple urine test that has recently been made and these are important parts of a non-invasive early tool for the detection of this cancer. 

Scientists note that this test may better and ease the detection of this tumor. 

The co-author of the study, Ismail Hosen notes that the results are the first evidence from a population-based cohort study of the power of the urinary TERT promoter mutations as a promising non-invasive biomarker for the detection of bladder cancer early on.

According to Mahdi Sheikh, a postdoctoral scientist at IARC and the first co-author of the study, if this evidence is validated, large-scale trials made in individuals at high risk of bladder cancer should be made to address the health and cost advantages of screening for TERT mutations.

What Are the Most Common Risk Factors for Bladder Cancer?

Around 50 percent of all bladder cancers are a result of smoking due to the chemicals which are inhaled and go into the bladder and stay there until they’re removed via the urine.

While they’re there, they trigger urothelium changes that may happen anywhere in the urinary tract, from the kidneys to the urethra’s tip. And, bladder cancer is usually the most common location of urothelial cancer. Urothelium is the bladder’s inner lining. 

Other risk factors are pesticides in groundwater, arsenic pesticides, etc. 

Treatment Options for Bladder Cancer?

The treatment usually depends on the stage in which it was detected. Some of the options are chemotherapy to address the cancer cells, as well as surgery, immunotherapy, as well as radiation. 

There are also promising new treatments with antibody-drug conjugates as well as inhibitors that may become a suitable and effective alternative for people who can’t have chemo. 

Having options for treatment is pivotal because they improve the outlook for bladder cancer patients. 

Useful Tips for Prevention of Bladder Cancer

  • Avoid smoking 
  • Reduce exposure to dangerous chemicals 
  • Proper hydration and following a healthy and balanced diet 
  • Protection from and awareness of the effects of chemical exposure