Bladder cancer rarely develops in the absence of delineable symptoms.
Unlike many cancers, the progression of this disease is usually recognized by the patient from the earliest of stages.
The most common symptoms associated with bladder cancer include:
- Blood or blood clots in the urine (hematuria) is the symptom most frequently associated with bladder cancer.
- Pain during urination (dysuria), either related to hematuria or to the buildup of harmful toxins in the urine, is quite common amongst bladder cancer patients.
- As the bladder loses its ability to swell and contract properly, a patient may be affected with the frequent urination of small amounts of fluid.
- The onset of frequent urinary tract infections (UTI) typically accompanies the development of a bladder cancer.
Patients with more advanced bladder cancers will typically experience some or all of the following symptoms:
- Flank pain, or pains in the lower back near the kidneys, is a common feature of advanced bladder cancer cases.
- A pelvic mass, or growth detected near the pelvis, is a common indicator of an advanced bladder cancer.
- Swelling in the lower legs may indicate an extremely advanced cancer that is causing harmful toxins to accumulate throughout the body, resulting in various infections and uncomfortable natural reactions to the toxins.
The symptoms commonly associated with bladder cancer can also be caused by a number of other disorders. In fact, more often than not, a patient experiencing any of the above symptoms is not diagnosed with a bladder cancer.
Conditions associated with bladder cancer symptoms include:
- Bladder stones
- Kidney stones
- Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)
- Prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate)
- Cystitis is is usually the result of harmful bacteria traveling up the urethra into the bladder. It is the most common infection of the lower urinary tract.
Benign (noncancerous) tumors can develop in the bladder and cause any of the above symptoms. Although these tumors are rarely life threatening, they can cause serious health complications and should be properly examined by a healthcare professional.