Bladder cancer is among the most common types of cancer, with approximately 79,000 new diagnoses in the United States each year—the vast majority of which are in males. According to the American Cancer Society, this accounts for “about 5% of all new cancers in the US.”
Despite how common it is, bladder cancer is challenging to identify in its early stages, as it may not show any signs and symptoms. Typically, “symptoms appear once the tumour grows larger or into the deeper layers of the bladder wall,” says the Canadian Cancer Society. Because of the late onset of symptoms, it’s important to identify them quickly so as to begin treatment right away. Here are the five most common ones to be mindful of.
Blood in the urine, medically known as hematuria, is the most common symptom of the disease, occurring in “8 or 9 out of 10 people who have bladder cancer,” says WebMD. Hematuria isn’t always a consistent issue, though. According to the Canadian Cancer Society, “blood may always be in the urine, or it may come and go.”
And even when it is present the source says it may cause the urine to vary in color, “from pale yellow-red to bright or rusty red.” In some cases, the blood may not even be visible to the naked eye; this is known as microscopic hematuria, as it is only identifiable under a microscope.