Know the Signs of Bladder Cancer

Published On: 11/25/2014

November is National Bladder Health Awareness Month and the urologists at Chesapeake Urology Associates encourage all men and women to know the signs and symptoms of bladder cancer, and when it’s time to call a doctor.

According to the urologic cancer specialists at Chesapeake Urology, the majority of bladder cancer cases develop in individuals over the age of 55 years. When bladder cancer is diagnosed and treated early, it is can often be treated successfully.


Know the Warning Signs of Bladder Cancer

Early stages of bladder cancer often produce no symptoms. The first warning sign may be hematuria (blood in the urine that may be visible or only be visible under a microscope), which is usually found during a physical exam performed by a doctor.

Other less common symptoms include:

  • Painful urination
  • Frequent urination or feeling an urge to urinate without results
  • Slow or intermittent urine stream
  • Pelvic pain

These symptoms may also indicate other medical problems, such as urinary tract infections, bladder stones or prostate disorders, but should be evaluated by a urologist to determine the cause.

Risk Factors of Bladder Cancer

The following factors increase a person’s risk of developing bladder cancer:

  • Cigarette smoking - the single greatest risk factor for bladder cancer
  • Exposure to industrial chemicals
  • Chronic bladder inflammation or foley catheter use
  • Chemotherapy or radiation therapy for other cancers 

Less common risk factors may include:

  • Advanced age - The average age is 67
  • Men are at higher risk for developing bladder cancer than women
  • Caucasians are at higher risk of developing bladder cancer
  • Family or personal history of bladder cancer 


Improving Diagnosis of Bladder Cancer at Chesapeake Urology – Blue Light Cystoscopy

Chesapeake Urology chief medical officer and urologist, Dr. Geoffrey Sklar and urologic oncologists, Dr. Rian Dickstein, and Dr. Bishoy Gayed are among the few physicians in the region to utilize Blue Light Cystoscopy for the diagnosis of bladder tumors.

Blue light cystoscopy uses innovative imaging techniques that help urologists find bladder tumors more easily than standard cystoscopy (cystoscopy involves the insertion of a small optic instrument with a lighted tip into the urethra and bladder, allowing the urologist to examine the urethra and bladder wall for suspicious lesions). Cysview® is a colorless contrast solution instilled into the bladder that accumulates in rapidly growing cells in the bladder (such as cancer cells) and turns bright pink or red under a blue light.


Blue Light Cystoscopy Benefits

 This procedure offers a number of benefits including: 

  • Better tumor visibility and more complete removal of lesions
  • Decreased rates of tumor recurrence
  • Potentially increased detection of small tumors, sometimes missed using traditional cystoscopy


The bladder cancer specialists at Chesapeake Urology are experienced in the latest advances in the diagnosis and treatment of bladder cancer including minimally invasive surgical techniques, radiation therapy, chemotherapy and immunotherapy. Additionally, our specialists offer both open and robotic cystectomy (bladder removal), as well as urinary diversion including neobladder creation. Learn more about bladder cancer and how the specialists at Chesapeake Urology are leading the way in detection and treatment of this disease. Visit for more information or call 877-422-8237.