Bladder cancer can often be found early because it causes blood in the urine or other urinary symptoms. Bladder cancer occurs in men more frequently than it does in women and usually affects older adults, though it can happen at any age.
Bladder cancer most often begins in the cells (urothelial cells) that line the inside of your bladder — the hollow, muscular organ in your lower abdomen that stores urine. Although it's most common in the bladder, this same type of cancer can occur in other parts of the urinary tract drainage system.
About seven out of every 10 bladder cancers diagnosed start out at an early stage — when bladder cancer is highly treatable. However, even early-stage bladder cancer may recur in the bladder. For this reason, people with bladder cancer typically need follow-up tests for years after treatment to look for bladder cancer that recurs or advances to a higher stage.
Bladder cancer signs and symptoms may include:
- - Blood in urine (hematuria)
- - Painful urination
- - Pelvic pain
If you have hematuria, your urine may appear bright red or cola colored. Sometimes, urine may not look any different, but blood in urine may be detected during a microscopic exam of the urine.
People with bladder cancer might also experience:
- - Back pain
- - Frequent urination