Blood in the urine (hematuria) is usually the first sign of bladder cancer. While some patients with early-stage bladder cancer pass enough blood to cause visible discoloration, most cases go unnoticed. Instead, routine urinalysis is necessary to screen for and detect small amounts of trace blood. Changes in bladder habits, such as needing to urinate more often, are another common early symptom. People with bladder may also experience discomfort or difficulty urinating.
More advanced bladder cancer symptoms include:
If you or a loved one is experiencing one or more symptoms of early-stage bladder cancer, keep in mind that these symptoms are more likely to have other causes, such as kidney stones or infections. Likewise, while many advanced bladder cancer symptoms require urgent medical attention, they are still unlikely to be bladder cancer. Regardless, it's important to see an experienced urologist for a thorough evaluation.
Early detection is important for all forms of cancer: It's much easier for urologists like Ms. Borohov to remove a small, localized cancer than one that has grown into other tissues and metastasized to distant parts of the body. Regular screening is even more important for bladder cancer, since its early stages have few noticeable symptoms.
Ms. Borohov is likely to perform a number of in-office imaging and diagnostic techniques when evaluating you for possible bladder cancer. If you do have bladder cancer, patients at New York Medicine Doctors also have minimally invasive options for in-office care. Intravesical therapy — where Ms. Borohov delivers cancer drugs directly to the bladder — is one of the most frequently used early-stage bladder cancer treatments available. Unlike most other forms of chemotherapy, these drugs remain localized to the bladder and have little effect on surrounding healthy tissue. Consequently, you are less likely to experience the severe side effects associated with systemic chemotherapy.
However, because effective bladder cancer treatment almost always includes complex surgery, patients undergoing diagnosis and treatment with Ms. Borohov can expect some inpatient hospital stay.
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