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May is Bladder Cancer Awareness Month. Here are five things you should know about bladder cancer.

  1. The most common form of bladder cancer forms from the inner surface lining the bladder, in a cell called a transitional cell. Most bladder cancer are transitional cell carcinomas.
  2. The biggest risk factor for bladder cancer is smoking. If you are a smoker, stop.
  3. The most common sign of bladder cancer is blood in the urine, hematuria, either microscopic or grossly visible blood. If you see blood in the urine please see a doctor for further evaluation.
  4. To diagnose bladder cancer a urologist must look inside the bladder with a scope, called cystoscopy, to identify the tumor. The urologist will then arrange a removal and biopsy of the tumor under anesthesia using a scope that will resect the tumor from the inside of the bladder.
  5. Although the majority of bladder cancers present in a stage where the cancer can be fully removed during the initial resection, bladder cancers have a high recurrence rate. Repeat cystoscopy needs to be done at regular intervals to check for tumor recurrence.

Orange is the color for bladder cancer awareness. Wear orange this month in support of those fighting this disease.

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