Understanding bladder cancer

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT/KKCO) -- Bladder cancer is the fourth most common cancer in men, and the 6th most common cancer in the United States.

“Bladder cancer is the most common urinary tract cancer other than prostate cancer. It’s the 9th most common in the world,” Page Kanopsic, a nurse practitioner with St. Mary's explained.

About 82,000 Americans were diagnosed with bladder cancer every year.

“Is really related to environmental exposures,” Kanopsic said.

The vast majority of people don't realize they have bladder cancer until a median age of 72.

“When you’re having that exposure to chemicals," She said, "It takes a while, between exposure and developing bladder cancer.”

Symptoms of bladder cancer mirror that of a urinary tract infection. In a study of over a thousand adults who thought they had UTIs, 12% ended up with bladder cancer.

Painless blood in the urine, frequent urination, pain while urinating, and the feeling of an urgent need to urinate with an empty bladder can all be a sign.

Kanopsic said if you are experiencing these symptoms, talk to your primary care doctor.