How Bladder Cancer Hides in Women

November 16, 2016

This week, we’re continuing our series on the bladder for Bladder Health Month. Today, we’re talking about bladder cancer, and specifically bladder cancer in women. 

Like many urologic problems, we tend to think of bladder cancer as something that affects older men. There is some truth to this. Of the estimate 77,000 new cases of bladder cancer in 2016, only 25% of those diagnosed will be women. 

However, women are more likely than men to be diagnosed with late-stage bladder cancer and the prognosis for women diagnosed with bladder cancer is worse than men at nearly all stages of the disease.

One reason that doctors are less likely to catch bladder cancer symptoms in women is that they tend to mirror conditions that affect women more than men. Blood in the urine and back pain are not uncommon in women who are menstruating. Likewise, burning sensations and frequent urination are common symptoms of yeast infections. 

If you’re experiencing these symptoms frequently, schedule an appointment with Dr. Shaw to get them checked out. 

During Bladder Health Month and beyond, it’s important to be aware of your body and keep these things in mind:

  • Bladder cancer can affect women at any age.
  • Bladder cancer has the highest chance of recurring of any form of cancer.
  • Tobacco use increases the risk of bladder cancer.
  • Long term exposure to chemicals increases the risk of bladder cancer.
  • Recurring urologic problems like bladder stones and bladder infections increase the risk of bladder cancer.