Published On: 11/23/2015

November is National Bladder Health Awareness month and the bladder cancer specialists at Chesapeake Urology encourage all men and women to know the signs and symptoms of bladder cancer, and when it’s time to call a doctor. Bladder cancer is actually very common, yet, most people don’t know much about this disease that affects nearly 70,000 people every year.

“The majority of bladder cancer cases develop in individuals over the age of 55 and we know that cigarette smoking is one of the leading risk factors for this disease,” states Rian Dickstein, M.D., Chesapeake Urology urologic oncologist and bladder cancer specialist. “We also know that when bladder cancer is diagnosed at an early stage, it is highly treatable, which is why it’s so important for people to know the early warning signs of this disease and seek treatment by an experienced urologist.”


Facts About Bladder Cancer 

  • Bladder cancer is the fifth most common form of cancer in men and the eighth most common cancer in women.
  • The average age of diagnosis is early 70s.
  • Tobacco use has been linked as a cause, or risk factor, for the development of bladder cancer.
  • Caucasians are at a higher risk of developing bladder cancer.
  • Family or personal history of bladder cancer is a risk factor for developing the disease.
  • More than 70,000 new cases are diagnosed and about 14,000 deaths occur each year.
  • When bladder cancer is diagnosed and treated early, it often can be treated successfully.
  • There are almost 500,000 bladder cancer survivors in the U.S. today.


Bladder Cancer Symptoms 

Early stages of bladder cancer often produce no symptoms. Early warning signs may be hematuria (blood in your urine that may be visible or only seen under a microscope). 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, however, may indicate other medical problems, such as urinary tract infections, bladder stones or prostate disorders, which is why a thorough evaluation by a urologist is so important.


New Diagnostic Techniques Enhance Visualization of Bladder Tumors

Early diagnosis of bladder cancer is key to improving patient survival rates from this disease. Chesapeake Urology’s leading bladder cancer specialist, Dr. Geoffrey Sklar, and urologic oncologist Dr. Rian Dickstein utilize the latest in advanced diagnostics and new techniques that improve the physicians’ ability to detect small, non-muscle invasive tumors that may not be seen with conventional diagnostic procedures such as cystoscopy. Chesapeake Urology’s urologic oncologists are among the few physicians in the region to utilize Narrow Band Imaging (NBI) Cystoscopy and Blue Light Cystoscopyto diagnose the disease in patients. Both are image enhancement diagnostic techniques that offer urologists vastly improved visualization for detecting bladder tumors compared to standard cystoscopy.


Advanced Treatment Options Benefit Bladder Cancer Patients

Bladder cancer patients benefit from the expertise of urologists and urologic oncologists at Chesapeake Urology who are experienced in advanced treatments of bladder cancer including sophisticated surgical procedures for complex cases.  Chesapeake Urology patients benefit from such treatments as:

  • Minimally invasive surgical techniques
  • Radiation therapy, chemotherapy and immunotherapy
  • Open and robotic cystectomy (bladder removal)
  • Urinary diversion techniques including neobladder creation for more complex cases.


Prevention Tips for a Healthier Future

“The number one thing you can do to help prevent bladder cancer is to quit smoking,” emphasized Dr. Dickstein. 

Chemicals in tobacco smoke are absorbed into the blood, pass through the kidneys and collect in the urine. These chemicals can damage the inside of the bladder and increase the chances of getting bladder cancer.  Need help quitting smoking? View Chesapeake Urology’s Quitting Smoking brochure here.


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.