Persistent urinary tract infections (UTI) or UTI-like symptoms may be an indication of bladder cancer or the potential for bladder cancer. It depends on the type of symptoms, how long you have had them and if there is pain involved.
Getting the facts, as well as seeing your doctor, is important if you are experiencing continued UTI’s or UTI-like symptoms.
The bladder is where urine is stored until it can be released from your body. Bladder cancer occurs in the lining of the bladder in the form of three types of cancer that are more common in white men but can also be found in women. With 74,000 cases diagnosed per year, it is considered the sixth most common type of cancer in the United States.
Bladder cancer often has symptoms similar to a UTI. This can be problematic as a doctor may quickly prescribe treatment for a UTI infection when treatment for bladder cancer should be given instead. As a result, a delay in receiving important medication could allow more cancer damage to happen. Approximately 15,000 people die each year from this disease.
Symptoms for a UTI may be:
- Cloudy or bloody urine
- Pain during urination
- Pressure in lower stomach or back
- Strong need to urinate, even after going to the bathroom
Symptoms for bladder cancer could include:
- Blood in the urine
- Urination pain
- Pain in the lower back
- Having to go to the bathroom all the time
Possible causes of bladder cancer
UTI-like symptoms could be a sign of possible bladder cancer but there are also various causes that have been associated with the disease.
Smoking is one of the major contributors to this disease. Those who smoke have a higher chance of developing the disease than non-smokers.
Exposure to chemicals could also lead to the development of bladder cancer. If your kidneys, which are directly linked to your bladder, are constantly exposed to harsh chemicals, a bladder problem could develop.
Family history can often be a cause of various diseases, especially bladder cancer. If a close or sometimes even distant relative had this disease your chances may rise.
When to see Dr. Schwartzwald
Second-guessing chronic UTIs or UTI-like symptoms could be a bad move. Always see your doctor if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms or you just feel like something is wrong.