A little guide for you this Bladder Cancer Awareness Month, from The Urology Foundation.
In the UK, there are over 10,000 new cases of bladder cancer diagnosed every year and nearly 5,000 people die from the disease each year. It affects men more than women, meaning that it is the fourth most common cancer in men and 12th most common in women.
How to know if you might have bladder cancer
Below are some signs that could indicate bladder cancer.
- Blood in your urine: this is the most common symptom of bladder cancer. It won’t necessarily happen every time you pee and can sometimes disappear for weeks or months. You should look out for pee that looks anywhere from rusty to deep red.
- Pain or burning when peeing: don’t panic if this happens to you quite rarely; it could just be because you haven’t drunk enough and your urine hasn’t been diluted enough. However, if this is a regular problem for you, that’s when you have cause for concern.
- An increased need to urinate: if you find yourself going to the bathroom a lot more than you used to, this could be another indication of bladder cancer
- Feeling the need to pee, but without anything coming through: another indication would be that you desperately need to use the toilet, but when you go, nothing happens
Each of these symptoms could indicate bladder cancer, but please don’t panic, as these could also be symptoms for a variety of other medical conditions.
What you should do next
Because these symptoms could mean a variety of problems, it’s important that you don’t perform a self-diagnosis. Your next step should be to see your GP.
Your GP will conduct a variety of tests that could include a urine test, a blood test, and a physical examination of your stomach and your pelvis (this might include the vagina in women, and the rectum in men).
Your GP will use these results to decide whether you should be referred to a urologist, where you’ll be able to get the treatment you need.
If you’d like to read more about bladder cancer, take a look at our Bladder Cancer page.
If you’d like to keep in touch with The Urology Foundation about urology health, you can do that right here.