Signs You May Have Bladder or Kidney Cancer

Maintaining your urinary tract health is crucial, as multiple organs work alongside each other. The bladder and kidneys work simultaneously to remove waste and water from the blood and body, and make sure your body is only taking in the healthy nutrients. If this system is not properly taken care of, medical problems such as bladder and kidney cancer can develop. 

Continue reading to learn about the early signs of bladder and kidney cancer.

Bladder Cancer

This form of cancer originates when cells in the ureters grow at an exponential rate. The bladder walls are made up of multiple layers where these cells grow and multiply. As time passes it can grow through the layers of the bladder wall until it spreads to other parts of the body — such as the lymph nodes. Bladder cancer creates many symptoms you can use to detect this diagnosis early.

Symptoms of Bladder Cancer

The first detectable sign of bladder cancer is blood in urine or hematuria. Discoloration in your urine is how this first sign can be noticed, as it changes from yellow to orange or even a dark red color. Following this symptom, others may develop that can cause pain or discomfort. 

Bladder cancer has early and advanced symptoms that include: 

Early Signs: 

  • Blood in the urine causes discoloration 
  • Feeling to urinate frequently
  • Pain or burning sensation while urinating 
  • Difficulty urinating or weak stream

Advanced Signs: 

  • Back pain located on your sides 
  • Complete loss of ability to urinate 
  • Swollen feet
  • The feeling of being weak or tired 
  • Loss of appetite when attempting to eat
  • Pain located in the bones 

Related: Bladder Cancer Symptoms and Treatments 

Who Has an Increased Risk of Developing Bladder Cancer? 

There are many things that can cause you to develop bladder cancer. Predominantly men are more likely to develop this form of cancer as well as with older age. Other causes can also include smoking or bladder inflammation. Smoking causes harmful chemicals to enter the urinary tract system that are difficult to be filtered out. This causes the chemicals to live in the bladder and grow in the urine. Bladder inflammation also increases your risk of developing bladder cancer, as it can cause a variety of harmful bacteria to generate in the urinary system. 

Kidney Cancer 

The kidneys are located in the middle back just under the rib cage. These organs control the blood pressure and the number of red blood cells that are in the body. When cancer develops here it can begin in one kidney and spread to the other. Kidney cancer forms in a similar way to bladder cancer — the cells begin to grow out of control tumors are formed in the organ. With the kidneys being a part of the urinary tract there are many symptoms and signs you can acknowledge to recognize this cancer early. 

Symptoms of Kidney Cancer

Early signs of kidney cancer typically do not appear until a tumor is formed, but there are some symptoms you can see develop over time including: 

  • Blood in the urine 
  • Pain in the middle to the lower back area 
  • Lump on the side or lower back 
  • Sudden weight loss that is not caused by diet changes 
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Long-lasting fever not caused by infection
  • Anemia; red blood cell count low 
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Development of night sweats 

Related: What Are the Early Signs of Kidney Cancer? 

Who Has an Increased Risk of Having Kidney Cancer?

The causes of kidney cancer are not certain, but there are some reasons why the risk of development can increase. High blood pressure and obesity are two reasons for increased risk. This is because the kidneys deal with the number of red blood cells in the body and if you have high blood pressure it can be difficult for the body to moderate it.

Obesity is also a risk factor because the amount of insulin in the body is too high causing the kidneys to not process the fat and other growth factors in the blood. Other factors that play into the increased risk for kidney cancer include smoking and treatment for prior kidney failure, as these weaken the kidneys ability to process the blood. 

Ways to Prevent Bladder or Kidney Cancer

 Although there is no way to permanently prevent bladder or kidney cancer, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of diagnosis. Smoking has been a leading cause for these types of cancer. Smoking, including both vaping and cigarettes, should be stopped to make the largest impact on preventative results. Another prevention method one can do is to avoid exposure to certain chemicals. Chemicals found in the textile, paint, or salon industries have shown high connections to increased risk of diagnosis. Avoiding these organic chemicals is a great way to avoid developing bladder or kidney cancer. Finally, making sure you are drinking plenty of water, and eating fruits and vegetables can help keep you healthy, and less at risk for contracting these ailments. By taking these steps to protect your health, you can lower the risk of being diagnosed with bladder and kidney cancer. 

Make an Appointment Today 

Kidney and bladder cancer can sometimes be confused with other urinary tract issues such as UTIs or kidney stones due to similar signs such as pain during urination or frequent urination. Keeping track of other symptoms such as blood in the urine or consistent back pain is important to be able to diagnose these cancers early. 

If you or someone you know is experiencing any of these early symptoms do not hesitate to make an appointment with one of our expert urologists today!

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