Facts and Possible Causes of this Cancer.
This cancer usually starts in the bladder and could spread to its muscle and eventually to other parts of your body.
In the UK, over 10,000 people are diagnosed with it every year and it’s the 10th most prevalent cancer in that country.
The survival rates of this illness are quite encouraging. It’s about 77% after 5 years. If the tumours haven’t spread beyond the inner layer of your bladder, then your survival rate after 5 years is at least 96%.
It’s more common in men than women; most new cases are diagnosed in people aged 60 and above. The following factors could lead to you developing this illness:-
Working with, or exposed to, harmful substances like plastics, paints, textiles and rubbers increase your risk of developing it.
Smoking. 1 in 3 cases are caused by this habit.
Receiving radiotherapy and chemotherapy for other cancers.
Experiencing menopause before the age of 45.
Illnesses/conditions including diabetes, long-term urinary tract infections and bladder stones.
Eating a high-fat diet.
The Signs and Symptoms.
The most common sign of bladder cancer is blood in your urine, known as ‘haematuria.’ It’s normally painless and sometimes, your urine can look brown. It isn’t always that noticeable and can be recurring. (Just to be aware, blood in your urine could be signs of infections, kidney stones or an enlarged prostate gland.)
Less common symptoms include:- you experience the need to urinate more frequently, have sudden urges to urinate and experience burning sensations when passing urine.
If your bladder cancer is more advanced and is spreading throughout your body then you could experience pelvic and bone pain, unintentional weight loss and swelling of your legs.
Diet and Bladder Cancer
There is a possibility that eating the right foods may help to reduce your likelihood of developing this illness.
There’s not a lot of research in this area; however, a study in Italy carried out by Bravi et al in 2018, indicated that following a Mediterranean diet reduced the risk of developing this cancer by nearly 35%.
The above diet has been studied before and is believed to lower your risk of inflammation. The foods in it include fruit, vegetables; especially cruciferous ones like broccoli and cabbage, legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds and olive oil which are excellent sources of healthy fats.
If you are having treatment, then eat small meals right up to when you retire for bed and make sure you include a source of protein with all meals and snacks.
Limit red meat.
Drink 8 cups of fluids a day.
Avoid: processed meats, greasy and spicy foods, dairy products, sugary drinks, caffeine, alcohol, sugar free sweets and gum.
So, if you have blood in your urine, then see your doctor. As I wrote earlier, it could be a sign of a less grave condition but it’s as well to make sure it’s not cancer.
Sources: wcrf.org, nhs.uk, mayoclinic.org, healthline.com, cancer.net, cxbladder.com