Brits have been warned to keep an eye out for a ‘silent’ symptom of bladder cancer.
According to Cancer Research figures, there are around 10,300 new bladder cancer cases in the UK each year. That’s more than one every hour.
Bladder cancer is where a growth of abnormal tissue, known as a tumour, develops in the bladder lining.
But were you aware that this form of cancer may be showing warning signs that could be mistaken for other less serious medical conditions?
And several other signs also overlap with symptoms of a UTI – including a “silent” one.
The urgent and persistent need to use the loo and a razor-sharp pain that won’t go away is something many have experienced in their life. More than half of women and 10% of men will suffer a UTI at one point.
This means that it is easy to mistake this silent potential bladder cancer symptom, assuming the unpleasant pain is simply an infection instead.
Unfortunately, bladder cancer kills around half of sufferers, according to charity Action Bladder Cancer UK.
But spotting the bladder symptom early and getting diagnosed as soon as possible can be life-saving with an 80% survival rate if caught early enough.
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Symptoms of bladder cancer
Other symptoms include needing to urinate more frequently, needing to pee suddenly or more urgently than usual, and/or a burning sensation when passing urine. All symptoms can also be signs of a UTI.
If bladder cancer reaches an advanced stage and has spread, symptoms may include:
- pelvic pain
- bone pain
- unintentional weight loss
- swelling of the legs
It is important to remember that the presence of blood in your pee does not necessarily mean you have blood cancer, with a range of other more common conditions causing this symptom, such as:
- urinary tract infections (UTIs), such as cystitis
- a kidney infection
- kidney stones
- non-gonococcal urethritis
- an enlarged prostate gland, in men
You should book an appointment with your GP if you spot blood in your urine to allow the cause to be investigated