Bloody or dark urine? It may be bladder cancer.

When cells within the bladder grow at an uncontrollable rate, bladder cancer begins.

“The first sign of bladder cancer can be blood in the urine, either seen microscopically or with the naked eye. It is much more common in smokers and individuals that have been exposed to chemicals for a long period of time,” shared JRMC Urologist, Dr. Robert J. Bates.

The bladder wall has many layers made up of different cell types. Most bladder cancers begin in the innermost bladder lining called the urothelium. The cancer can grow into and through the other bladder walls making it more difficult to treat. Early diagnosis is key to successful treatment.

Treatment options depend on the stage of the cancer.

If you or a loved one is showing the following signs, consult a urologist.

  1. Blood. According to the American Cancer Society, bladder cancer is often found early because of the red-tinged urine caused by blood, whether seen microscopically or with the naked eye. This is called hematuria.
  1. Change in urination. Bladder cancer can cause changes and a person’s urination pattern. These changes may include increased frequency of urination, burning or pain with urination and a sense of incomplete bladder emptying.

Early bladder cancer can be treated by surgical resection – not requiring an incision, but more advanced treatment may require chemotherapy, radiation therapy and more extensive surgery.

Smoking is the single most common risk factors for the development of bladder cancer. Smokers are at least three times more likely to develop bladder cancer than nonsmokers. Genetics may also play a role, although its exact influence is not known at this time.

Dark or blood-tinged urine? Contact the JRMC urology team and schedule direct: (701) 952-4878.


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