In recent years, more cases of bladder cancer have been diagnosed, and studies have linked this increase to some toxic habits such as smoking, chemicals used in some hair products, among others. According to the American Cancer Society or American Cancer Society, the presence of blood in the urine, either macroscopic (blood is seen with the naked eye) or microscopic (blood is only seen under a microscope, that is, in the laboratory or urine test), is the first sign of bladder cancer.
There may be blood that changes the color of the urine to orange, pink, or even darker red, sometimes the color of the urine is normal, but small amounts of blood are detected when the urine test is done in the laboratory. There may be blood in the urine one day and not be seen another day, and the urine may be bloodless for a few weeks or even months, but at some point the blood returns.
Early symptoms of bladder cancer
-Urinating more often than usual
-Pain or burning when urinating
-Feeling that you need to urinate immediately, even when the bladder is empty.
-Having trouble urinating or having a weak stream in urine
-Having to get up to urinate many times at night
-Not being able to urinate
-Pain on one side of the lower back
-Loss of appetite or weight loss
-Swelling in the feet
These symptoms may also indicate other conditions, such as a urinary tract infection, bladder stones, an overactive bladder, or an enlarged prostate. With the advances that we have available to our patients, 70% or more of bladder cancers are diagnosed in early stages, when the cancer is located in the mucosa of the bladder, that is, on the surface. When you have surgery, close follow-up with your urologist is important, as it can come back, regardless of how it was treated.
Importance of tests
Cystoscopy (a study to see the inside of the bladder) is the quintessential study for cancer follow-up, and if it is cystoscopy with NBI technology (combines green light with blue light), it is the ideal one, since it diagnoses 28% more bladder cancer than white light cystoscopy. If you have to undergo a cystoscopy due to suspected cancer or follow-up after having been treated for bladder cancer, always ask your urologist about the possibility of doing it with NBI technology due to the high diagnostic reliability of bladder cancer you have.