Frequent urination is a symptom of a really serious disease, but it can be easily confused with other diseases

Frequent urination is a symptom of a really serious disease, but it can be easily confused with other diseases

While blood in urine is often a signal that something bad is happening in our body, frequent urination is usually underestimated. This is a big mistake because it is one of the symptoms of bladder cancer.

A few days ago, the Ministry of Health reminded that bladder cancer is one of the most common cancers among men. However, it is not talked about as loudly and often as in the case of other malignant tumors. In our country, it is the fourth most common disease among men and eighth among women. Its incidence depends largely on lifestyle, and the effectiveness of treatment depends on how often patients are examined. Although the incidence of this cancer in Poland is lower than the average in European Union countries, the fact that mortality among men is much higher is disturbing.

Frequent urination and bladder cancer

In the initial stages of the disease, bladder cancer often may not cause any symptoms, apart from minor pain. Later symptoms are also often downplayed. Although frequent urination may not seem to be a symptom of a serious disease, it may indicate, among other things, cancer. It is also accompanied by burning and pain, as well as a feeling of incomplete emptying of the bladder. However, these symptoms often do not arouse our attention because they are not specific to bladder cancer and also accompany other urinary tract diseases.

In most cases, hematuria also occurs episodically, but it is not always visible to the naked eye – sometimes the amount of blood is small (so it does not change the color of the urine) and can only be detected in a laboratory. Moreover, this symptom may recur with intervals of up to several months. However, even a single bleeding episode should not be ignored. The most common symptom of this disease, which occurs in 85 percent of patients, is painless hematuria, but “alarm signals” also include urination disorders, back pain, and pelvic pain. In the advanced stage of the disease, the following may occur: a palpable tumor in the suprapubic area, enlarged regional lymph nodes, swelling of the limbs and bone pain as a result of metastases. Check out other symptoms of bladder cancer that are easy to ignore.

Who is most at risk of bladder cancer?

The risk of developing this cancer mainly affects men over 45 years of age. Most cases occur in the age group 80-84. However, it must be remembered that bladder cancer it can occur in people of all ages, regardless of gender. Bladder cancer is most often caused by smoking – the risk increases almost threefold in heavy smokers. The first action to avoid getting sick is to quit smoking and avoid tobacco smoke. Some chemical substances may also increase the risk, and workers in the leather, rubber, textile, metal and oil industries are particularly exposed to them.

Symptoms of bladder cancer also often occur in the course of other diseases, such as bladder stones, infections or benign prostatic hyperplasia. Such symptoms may also indicate benign diseases, but a person who notices them should see a doctor, among other things, to rule out cancer. In turn, if it is confirmed, early diagnosis and initiation of appropriate treatment are important. First, the patient should see a family doctor who, if necessary, will issue a referral to a specialist.

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