When the color of urine changes it can be cancer

Urinary tract infection symptoms without actual inflammation require a more detailed investigation. There is also a warning sign that indicates a more serious illness.

Problems with urination are common and affect both men and women. Problems often increase with age. Bladder pains can be mild and vague.

However, there is one clear sign that always requires urgent investigations.

If you notice blood in your urine, it's time to see a doctor, a surgeon and urologist, the doctor insists. Mika Raidenen.

– Blood in the urine even once is sufficient reason for examination. Blood in the urine is not normal and the cause should be investigated.

If you have difficulty urinating, you should go to the emergency room immediately. Urinary incontinence is the accumulation of urine in the bladder, but the inability to urinate.

Blood in the urine, for example, may be associated with a urinary tract infection. There may also be pain, burning and the need to urinate while urinating. If symptoms persist or inflammation becomes frequent despite antibiotic treatment, further tests are needed.

Sometimes hematuria has a more serious cause: a common symptom of bladder cancer is bloody urine.

However, it is not necessary to have blood in the urine every time you urinate.

Bladder cancer presents with urinary tract infection-like symptoms. Bleeding is a common symptom. Adobe Stock / AOP

Signs of irritation

Other symptoms of bladder cancer are similar to symptoms of urinary tract infection: frequent urination, unpleasant sensation in the bladder, bladder pain and urinary incontinence.

– However, in bladder cancer, the urine sample is usually clean, meaning no bacteria are detected. However, even if there is no visible blood in the urine, red blood cells can be detected in the urine sample under the microscope in these cases.

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About one in five people who come to the doctor because of hematuria turns out to be bladder cancer.

– Ultimately, the underlying causes of hematuria are serious and require immediate treatment. That's why finding hematuria is important.

On the other hand, the need to go to the toilet at night is not only associated with bladder cancer. In men, nocturnal visits are usually caused by benign prostatic hyperplasia, an overactive bladder, drinking a lot of fluids in the evening, or congestive heart failure.

Bloody urine always requires further investigations. Adobe Stock / AOP

More male cancer

In Finland, about 1,400 new bladder cancers are diagnosed each year, more than 1,000 of them in men. Bladder cancer is the fourth most common cancer in men.

The average age of those affected is 70, but the incidence of cancer begins to increase after the age of 50.

– The youngest patient I personally remember was about 30 years old. However, this disease is very rare in young people.

According to Raidanen, men get sick more often than women because of risk factors. The most important risk factor for bladder cancer is smoking. It quadruples the risk compared to non-smokers. More than half of cases are caused specifically by smoking.

Chemicals from the rubber, paint, and oil industries, and especially smoking, have increased the risk of disease. Today, their importance is minor in Finland due to improved occupational hygiene.

– However, almost always the cause is not found, which caused cancer in the case of an individual patient.

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As the population ages, bladder cancer cases can also be expected to increase, but on the other hand, reducing smoking among today's youth may have different effects.

– When cases decreased after the 90s, it was thought to be due to men smoking less. We hope that the decline in smoking among young adults will also be reflected in bladder cancer statistics in the coming years.

Bladder cancer is especially a disease of men. Adobe Stock / AOP

Very superficial

Hematuria is investigated with blood and urine tests, which examine inflammation and the state of the kidney, as well as a urine cytology, which detects possible malignant changes. Kidneys can also be examined by ultrasound. Cystoscopy is the most important test when a bladder tumor is suspected.

If the cause of the symptoms is bladder cancer, the diagnosis is refined by planning the tumor in the bladder. At the same time, valuable information is obtained about how deeply the tumor has penetrated the bladder wall.

Most bladder cancers are superficial and limited to the mucosa. The prognosis for this type of cancer is generally good.

– What makes it boring is the tendency to relapse. In a few patients, the tumor recurs in subsequent years after surgery. For example, local chemotherapy treatments can prevent recurrence.

Even after cancer is diagnosed, it is important to stop smoking to reduce the risk of recurrence. Bladder status is monitored regularly with observations.

Superficial cancer usually recurs superficially, but bladder cancer can already push deep into the bladder wall early on. These very high-risk tumors account for about 20 percent of all bladder cancers.

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These patients often require complete removal of the bladder. In men, the prostate gland is usually removed. The female urethra is removed, and often the uterus along with its secondary organs.

The patient's bladder can be replaced with a stoma constructed from the small intestine or a bladder that drains through the urethra.

Among those whose tumor has already pushed into the muscle layers of the bladder at the time of diagnosis, half the disease has already spread outside the bladder. Metastases can appear, for example, in the liver, lungs or bones.

The prognosis for disseminated disease is poor. In recent years, invasive bladder cancer has begun to be treated with immunosuppressive drugs, where the body's own immune system is activated to destroy the cancer.

– These drugs have slightly improved the prognosis of disseminated disease.

Bladder cancer that has spread to the wall of the bladder usually requires removal of the bladder. Adobe Stock / AOP

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