Signs and Symptoms of Bladder Cancer
Bladder cancer is a highly malignant condition. It occurs four times more frequently in men than women, particularly after the age of 65. Whites are twice as likely to get it than Hispanics and African Americans.
Painless hematuria (blood in the urine), either gross (visible) or microscopic (invisible), is the most characteristic sign of bladder cancer. Visible blood can be bright red, with or without blood clots, or the urine may have a slight orange or pink color to it.
Pain and burning when urinating, frequent urination, and/or a strong urge to urinate (with only small amounts of urine) are common symptoms of bladder cancer. These symptoms can also indicate other conditions, like an urinary tract infection (UTI).
How to Prevent Bladder Cancer
If you smoke, quit. Smokers are twice as likely to develop bladder cancer than nonsmokers. Almost half the men who die of bladder cancer were smokers compared to about a third of women. Carcinogens in tobacco smoke are absorbed into the blood and filtered through the kidneys. These chemicals can concentrate in the urine and damage the cells lining the bladder wall. Even one cigarette a day can increase the chances of developing bladder cancer. Once you quit, the risk drops almost immediately.
Chemicals in certain workplaces that include aromatic amines can also increase the risk of getting bladder cancer, especially those used in the aluminum, rubber, and dye industries. Painters, machinists, printers, hairdressers, and truck drivers are also at an increased risk. Use adequate safety equipment.
Eat more cruciferous vegetables, such as kale, watercress, radish, collards, and broccoli. One major study conducted by Ohio State and Harvard universities found that males who consumed two or more 1/2 cup servings of broccoli a week had a 44% lower chance of developing bladder cancer compared to males who ate less than one serving per week.
Drink a lot of fluids, especially water. This empties the bladder frequently and is believed to keep chemicals from lingering in the body.
Knowing how to prevent bladder cancer does not necessarily mean you won’t get it. Signs and symptoms of bladder cancer normally don’t appear until it reaches an advanced state, making it difficult to cure. Those who are at high risk should be examined annually.
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