Our Houston area urologists treat a variety of conditions and illnesses

Bladder Cancer

What to know about bladder cancer diagnosis and treatment

Bladder cancer is highly treatable when it’s caught in the early stages. More men than women get this type of cancer, particularly men over age 70. But, men and women of all ages can get cancer of the bladder and develop bladder tumors. Cancer usually develops in the urothelial cells that line the inside of the bladder, a hollow organ that stores urine. Here’s what our Houston urologists would like patients to know about cancer in the bladder. 

Signs and symptoms to know about

The signs and symptoms of bladder cancer can also indicate other problems that are not cancer, so it’s vital for patients to contact our physicians when they notice any of the following symptoms. 

  • Blood in the urine is the most common, early symptom of bladder cancer. Sometimes, women and even physicians may overlook this sign in women, particularly because patients may assume that it’s related to a urinary tract infection or menstrual or menopausal issue. 
  • Frequent urination 
  • Burning or pain while urinating 
  • Even though the bladder isn’t full, feeling the need to urinate 
  • Nighttime urination 

If patients don’t notice symptoms or get an early diagnosis, bladder tumors may get larger, or the cancer could spread to other areas of the body. If that happens, patients may notice the following symptoms.  

  • The inability to urinate 
  • Lower back pain on one side of the body 
  • Pain or tenderness in the bones 
  • Abdominal pain 
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Unexpected weight loss 
  • Fatigue 

Causes and risk factors

People are often surprised to learn that the biggest risk factor for bladder cancer is smoking and tobacco use. In fact, smokers are four times more likely to get cancer of the bladder than people who don’t smoke. Approximately two out of three people who are diagnosed with this type of cancer have a history of smoking. Here are some other factors that increase the risk of developing cancer of the bladder. 

  • Exposure to chemicals that people may encounter while working in the leather, paint, rubber, textile, dye or printing industries 
  • Having a close relative, such as a parent, sibling or child, who had bladder cancer makes a person twice as likely to develop cancer in the bladder. 
  • Having long-term issues that cause bladder inflammation and irritation, such as kidney or bladder stones or infections 
  • Being over age 70 
  • Being male, as this type of cancer is three times more common in men than in women 
  • History of chemotherapy or radiation 

Our Houston urologists diagnose and treat bladder cancer and bladder tumors

There is good news. Our physicians often detect this type of cancer at its earliest, most treatable stages. From minimally invasive treatments to treat early-stage cancer to advanced surgical techniques to remove bladder tumors, our Houston urologists are here to help patients. Contact us for an appointment.