The exact causes of bladder cancer are uncertain, though certain factors increase a person's risk. Cigarette smoking, chemical exposure, radiation treatment and chronic bladder infections all may contribute to bladder cancer.
No matter the cause, bladder cancer has severe and painful symptoms. Left undiagnosed, the cancer can become more serious. If you or a loved one has suffered because of a failure to diagnose bladder cancer, it is vital that you take action to protect your rights.
Diagnosing Bladder Cancer
Symptoms of bladder cancer may include:
- Abdominal pain
- Incontinence (urinary leakage)
- Painful urination
- Weight loss
- Urinary frequency
- Blood in the urine
- Urinary urgency
To diagnose bladder cancer, a doctor will typically examine the patient, including a pelvic and rectal exam. Urine tests, abdominal CT scans and MRIs are also helpful when looking for signs of the disease.
If the physician detects bladder cancer, he or she will order additional testing to see if the cancer has spread, which will determine the course of treatment.
Results of Delayed Diagnosis
If bladder cancer is not promptly diagnosed and treated, the cancer may spread deeper into the bladder or into other areas of the body. Bones, lungs and other organs are all vulnerable to the spread of bladder cancer. The sooner bladder cancer is diagnosed, the better a patient's prognosis.
- Stages 0 and 1 — At stage 0, cancer has affected only the lining of the bladder. At stage 1, the cancer has spread through the lining, but has not reached the muscle of the bladder. Treatment options at the early stages include surgery to remove the tumor, chemotherapy or immunotherapy. When bladder cancer is caught at this stage, the prognosis is often quite good.
- Stages 2 and 3 — At stage 2, cancer has reached the bladder muscle and stage 3 occurs when cancer affects the fatty tissue surrounding the bladder. At these stages, surgery to remove the entire bladder may be necessary. This requires additional surgery so the body can drain urine without the bladder. At stage 3, the cure rate for bladder cancer drops to below 50 percent.
- Stage 4 — At stage 4, cancer has spread to surrounding parts of the body. Patients at stage 4 are rarely cured, but chemotherapy may be an effective treatment.
Contact Us Today for a Free Consultation
If you believe that there was a failure to diagnose or a delayed diagnosis of bladder cancer, call us at 315-479-9000 or contact us online. Time is of the essence because if a case is not timely pursued, you may be barred from pursuing a claim. Consultations are always free and you will never be responsible for any legal fees unless we are able to recover compensation for you.