He was terrified when he saw blood in his urine. Then he heard from the doctor: “Dude, you have cancer.” A 65-year-old walrus and marathon runner talks about the symptoms of bladder cancer.
Mr. Stanisław lives in the West Pomeranian Voivodeship. He does not keep the information that he had bladder cancer a secret. He tells his story as a warning.
“If I had consulted a urologist earlier, it would have been a short procedure. And so it was necessary to remove the bladder.” – says.
How does bladder cancer manifest itself?
The man hopes to return to an active lifestyle soon. He is a marathon runner – he ran his first marathon at the age of 49. Later there were further starts – Korona Maratonów Polski, races in the Canary Islands, Finland and Greece with the final at the stadium in Athens. Over time, his passion became his way of life. Mr. Stanisław became vice-president of the Stargard Athletic Club, where he is not only a runner, but also an organizer of sports events and a popularizer of running. Ten years ago he started winter swimming. He belongs to the Stargard Walrus Club “Miedwianie”.
Despite his active lifestyle, the disease continued to affect him. He noticed the first disturbing symptom in March 2023, while preparing for the next marathon, which was to take place in Paris. “I noticed blood in my urine. Other than that, I didn’t feel any pain.” says. He finished the race and then went to a urologist. Ultrasound examination confirmed bladder cancer.
How did the marathon runner accept the diagnosis?
The patient believes that the doctor who diagnosed him did the right thing by saying openly: “Boy, you have cancer, you need to act.” Mr. Stanisław underwent four cycles of chemotherapy. He lost his hair. “Hairstyles like mine are fashionable right now“- says. The next stage of treatment was surgery. This took place at the end of September. It was the first time in the history of the Provincial Hospital at ul. Arkońska in Szczecin laparoscopic removal of the urinary bladder. The patient’s treatment was the responsibility of the staff of the general urology and oncology department, headed by Dr. hab. n. med. Artur Lemiński – doctor in charge of the department.
Laparoscopic removal of the urinary bladder
According to Dr. Lemiński, removing the urinary bladder due to cancer is a very extensive operation. So far, this type of procedures were performed using a conventional surgical technique, i.e. the so-called open surgery.
“This involved a large incision, which resulted in a number of difficulties such as increased blood loss, greater postoperative pain, later mobilization of the patient and therefore a later return home, as well as a higher rate of postoperative complications. The laparoscopic technique moves the surgery inside the abdomen, and the entire procedure is performed using laparoscopic manipulators. Thanks to this, the patient no longer has a large incision, but only a few small incisions on the abdominal skin. This results in a faster recovery” says the doctor. The marathon runner left the hospital a week after the procedure.
How to recognize bladder cancer?
Mr. Stanisław is aware that an earlier diagnosis could make a big difference. This thought is even more troubling because the patient attached importance to taking care of his health. Before the pandemic, he regularly visited a urologist, but then he took a two-year break. This was enough for the cancer to develop.
“Listen up, fellow runners and everyone else. This is very important – a referral from your family doctor to a urologist and regular check-ups are enough. Thanks to this, you can avoid experiences that are uninteresting. Bcome along!”- says the man.
Urologists also urge people to pay attention to other symptoms that bladder cancer may cause. These include bladder irritation, frequent urination, a feeling of urgency, and urination of small portions of urine. However, the most characteristic is hematuria. If it appears, the patient should immediately consult a urologist.