Bladder Cancer

Pacific Northwest Urology Specialists

Located in Bellingham, WA - Serving the Pacific Northwest

Each year, around 80,000 new cases of bladder cancer are diagnosed in the United States. The team at Pacific Northwest Urology Specialists in Bellingham, Washington, offers diagnosis and treatment for bladder cancer. If you find blood in your urine, call the practice or schedule a consultation online today for expert testing and urology health care.

Bladder Cancer

What is bladder cancer?

Bladder cancer is a disease where abnormal cells grow uncontrollably in your bladder and form a tumor. Cancer cells develop and multiply rapidly. They don’t respond to signals from your body to slow or stop their growth.  As the cancer grows, it can spread to other parts of your body.

Men and women can develop bladder cancer, although men are more likely than women to get the disease. Some of the other risk factors for bladder cancer include:

  • Personal or family history of bladder cancer
  • Smoking
  • Aging
  • Chronic bladder inflammation

If you’re concerned about bladder cancer, make an appointment at Pacific Northwest Urology Specialists today.


What are the signs and symptoms of bladder cancer?

Bladder cancer, like most cancers and other diseases, may not cause any noticeable symptoms in its early stages. The most common sign of bladder cancer is hematuria — blood in your urine. You might also experience pelvic or lower back pain, and pain when you urinate. In rare cases, frequent urination is a sign of bladder cancer.

If you have blood in your urine, it may appear pinkish, brown, or even red. If there is only a small amount of blood in your urine, you may not be able to see it.


How is bladder cancer diagnosed?

If your physician suspects that you might have bladder cancer, they order a cystoscopy. A cystoscopy is a minimally invasive diagnostic test that involves your physician guiding a cystoscope — a very slender surgical tube with a light and camera mounted on its tip —through your urethra to your bladder. The camera sends images to a video monitor in the treatment room so your physician can examine your bladder for a tumor or other abnormalities.

Your doctor may perform a biopsy or tumor removal procedure called a transurethral resection of bladder tumor (TURBT) if your cystoscopy shows signs of bladder cancer.


How is bladder cancer treated?

Depending on the location of your tumor and the stage of your cancer, your doctor recommends treatment. Some of the procedures they may suggest include:

  • Surgical tumor removal
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Bladder removal and reconstruction

If you’re concerned about bladder cancer, call Pacific Northwest Urology Specialists or make an appointment online today for assessment, diagnosis, and treatment.