Bladder cancer is usually not on the female radar even among women who are vigilant about undergoing regular Pap tests, breast exams & skin checks, since this condition is far more common in men. Moreover, majority of bladder cancer cases affect people who are over 65 years of age. Nevertheless, don’t get carried & believe that bladder cancer is a disease of old people because there are more than 18,000 women who are diagnosed with bladder cancer every year in United States alone. Women are generally more likely to be diagnosed with advanced stage bladder cancer due to the fact that not many of them would be looking out for this disease. That is why knowing signs & symptoms of bladder cancer can be helpful in early diagnosis & for improving prognosis.
Warning Symptoms of Bladder Cancer Women Should Watch Out For
1. Blood in Urine
This is one of the most common early symptoms of bladder cancer in women. However, it is easy for women to overlook since it is typically painless & quite often they may disappear for weeks or even months between occurrences. Moreover, many women ignore this symptom of bladder cancer as they mistakenly connect this symptom with menopause or their menstruation cycles. Nevertheless, blood in urine does not necessarily mean bladder cancer, but then it is quite important to discuss this with the doctor.
2. Urinary Tract Infection Like Symptom
Since there are many symptoms of which overlap, bladder cancer is often mistaken for urinary tract infection (UTI). Women may also experience urinary incontinence, pain with urination, urgency to urinate alongside increased frequency of urination as well. Women must therefore talk to the doctor when they notice urinary problems like having a hard time emptying bladder or if they feel like urinating but cannot, or having to go for urination all the time. Seeing the doctor would be all the more important when these UTI like symptoms do not get better even after antibiotics have been tried.
3. Unexplained Pain
Often associated with advanced stage of bladder cancers, unexplained pain can be in pelvis, abdomen or flank area. Women with bladder cancer may also develop pain in bones if cancer has spread beyond the bladder. Women experiencing aches & pains in these areas must tell the doctor especially in case they are also having the aforementioned symptoms of spotting and/or urinary tract infections.
4. Decrease in Appetite
Loss of appetite is a common symptom of cancer & which is also so with bladder cancer. Women may also experience weight loss or feel weak & tired when bladder cancer has advanced or spread to other areas. However, there may also be a number of things which can mess with the appetite & therefore decrease in appetite cannot alone be a decisive factor for bladder cancer.
5. Smoking is a Risk Factor for Bladder Cancer
Fifty percent of women in the United States who are diagnosed with bladder cancer are found to be smokers. Therefore smoking is considered to be the biggest risk factor for bladder cancer in women. Women who smoke & experience the above mentioned symptoms of bladder cancer must consult their doctors as early as possible. It is quite easy to confuse symptoms of bladder cancer with normal spotting or a stubborn UTI. This is one of the prime reasons as to why bladder cancer is overlooked in women until it has spread to advanced stages where it is very difficult to treat. However, bladder cancer is easy to treat if it is diagnosed early.
International patients willing to travel to other countries for good quality of medical procedures at affordable prices can take respite from the fact that India offers them an excellent choice. Healthcare infrastructure in India is extensive & highly advance & at par with the best in the world. Doctors & surgeons in India are globally renowned & capable of performing the most complex operations for a wide spectrum of ailments including bladder cancer. Bladder cancer treatment in India is not just high in quality but in fact just costs a fraction of the amount which patients may have to pay for similar procedures in other healthcare destinations across the world.