What are the early warning signs of Bladder Cancer that we should be aware of?

Key Takeaways:

  1. Bladder cancer is a common form of cancer in the US and it’s important to be aware of the warning signs including blood in urine, painful urination, urgency and frequent need to urinate.
  2. If any of these symptoms are present it’s important to seek medical attention and get a diagnostic evaluation to confirm the diagnosis.
  3. There are several measures for prevention and reducing the risk of bladder cancer, such as quitting smoking, limiting exposure to toxins and drinking lots of fluids. Advanced Urology Institute is the largest urology practice in Florida and provides personalized and advanced care.

Bladder cancer is a form of cancer that starts in the bladder, which is an organ responsible for storing urine in the body. According to the National Cancer Institute, bladder cancer is the sixth most common form of cancer in the United States, with an estimated 79,030 new cases this year.

There are a variety of risk factors associated with bladder cancer, including a family history of bladder cancer, gender, age, and certain habits such as smoking. Men are more likely than women to develop bladder cancer, and are especially at a higher risk if they are over the age of 40.

Early detection of bladder cancer is key for successful treatment, but it’s important to first be aware of the warning signs. The most common symptom of bladder cancer is hematuria, or blood in the urine, but there are several other warning signs to look out for including painful urination, urinary urgency, and a frequent need to urinate.

If any of the aforementioned symptoms are present, it’s important to get a diagnostic evaluation from a doctor. The doctor may conduct a physical exam and evaluate the patient’s medical history. Imaging tests such as a CT or MRI scan may also be performed. If cancer is suspected, a tissue sample or biopsy may be collected to confirm the diagnosis.

If bladder cancer is confirmed, treatment may consist of surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy. Surgery is often recommended to remove any cancerous tumors in the bladder, and chemotherapy or radiation therapy may be used in addition to the surgery if necessary.

Although there is no way to guarantee prevention of bladder cancer, there are steps people can take to reduce their risk. Quitting smoking is highly recommended, as is limiting exposure to toxins, and drinking plenty of fluids.

In summary, bladder cancer is a serious health condition that can be successfully treated if detected early. Early-warning signs of bladder cancer include blood in the urine, pain during urination, urinary urgency, and frequent need to urinate. If any of these symptoms are present, a doctor should be contacted for an evaluation. Treatment options may include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy after an official diagnosis is made. There are several measures people can take to reduce their risk of bladder cancer, including quitting smoking, limiting exposure to toxins, and drinking plenty of fluids.

If you ever experience any of the symptoms listed and suspect that you may have bladder cancer, it’s important to seek help from a medical professional. Advanced Urology Institute is the largest urology practice in Florida, providing advanced and personalized care to help people lead healthier lives.


What are the potential causes of Bladder Cancer and how can we protect our health?

Key Takeaways:

  1. Smoking, exposure to certain chemicals, and family history can all increase your risk for bladder cancer.
  2. Symptoms such as blood in urine, painful urination, and frequent urination can indicate bladder cancer.
  3. Treatment for bladder cancer typically involves surgery, chemotherapy, and immunotherapies.


Cancer is a broad topic that impacts millions of people across the United States every year. One type of cancer is bladder cancer. Bladder cancer is the sixth most common form of cancer in the United States and close to 80,000 people are diagnosed each year. In this article, we will discuss bladder cancer and explore the potential causes and offer tips for keeping your health in check. 

Risk Factors Smoking 

Smoking is the most prevalent risk factor associated with bladder cancer. Every time you smoke, the toxins and chemicals contained in a cigarette enter the body and cause genetic damage. Smoking is responsible for nearly half of all bladder cancers. 

Exposure to Chemicals

Being exposed to certain chemicals can also make you more susceptible to getting bladder cancer. The use and misuse of hazardous chemicals in the workplace have been linked to higher rates of bladder cancer. A recent study identified twenty different chemicals that could put you at greater risk for bladder cancer development. 

Family History

Family history is also a risk factor. If you have a family member who has been diagnosed with bladder cancer, then you may have an increased risk for the disease.


If you are experiencing the following symptoms, it is important to consult your doctor: 

Blood in Urine

If you notice any blood in your urine, it could be a sign of bladder cancer. Red or dark colored urine is a common symptom along with any changes in the color or consistency. 

Painful Urination

Pain or burning with urination can also be a sign of bladder cancer. 

Frequent Urination

Having to urinate more frequently than usual can also point to bladder cancer. If you find yourself having to go to the bathroom multiple times a day or having trouble controlling your bladder, it is important to consult your doctor. 

Diagnosis Physical Exam

Your doctor will begin the diagnostic process with a physical exam. The doctor will check your body for any signs of a tumor or growth in the bladder. 

Urine Tests

Your doctor will also likely perform a urinalysis. This will help diagnose a bladder infection and any pre-existing conditions that may make you more susceptible to bladder cancer. 

Imaging Tests

In some cases, your doctor may recommend imaging tests such as a CT scan or MRI. Depending on the results of your initial tests, your doctor may want a more detailed look at your organ and tissue structures. 

Treatment Surgery

The most common treatment for bladder cancer is surgery. Depending on how advanced the cancer is, your doctor may recommend surgery to either remove the tumor/growth or remove a portion of the bladder. 


Chemotherapy may also be used in treating more advanced cases of bladder cancer. This method of treatment helps the body fight off any cancerous cells.  


Immunotherapies are a newer form of treatment and can be used in conjunction with traditional treatments such as surgery and chemotherapy. Immunotherapies use the body’s own defenses to target cancer by boosting the immune system. 


Bladder cancer is the sixth most prevalent form of cancer in the United States and it can begin with little to no warning. We have discussed the potential risks associated with bladder cancer and a few ways to determine if you may have bladder cancer. The most common treatments are surgery, chemotherapy, and immunotherapies. It is important to stay educated on your health and to consult your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.

Advanced Urology Institute and their team of experienced urologists provide comprehensive urology care in South and Central Florida. They are the top-rated urology practice in the state and strive to provide compassionate and quality care coupled with the latest advancements in urological technology. So, if you believe you may have bladder cancer or have questions, Advanced Urology Institute can help.


What is the first sign of bladder cancer? with Dr. Ketan Kapadia


  1. The first sign of bladder cancer is often gross hematuria, or visible blood in the urine.
  2. Early detection of bladder cancer is crucial for more effective treatment and improved patient outcomes.
  3. The Advanced Urology Institute, led by Dr. Ketan Kapadia, offers comprehensive care and state-of-the-art treatments for patients with bladder cancer and other urological issues.

Bladder cancer is a common type of cancer that affects many individuals, particularly those with a history of smoking. Dr. Ketan A. Kapadia, MD, a board-certified urologist in St. Petersburg, FL, discusses the early signs of bladder cancer and the importance of early detection for effective treatment. The Advanced Urology Institute provides comprehensive care for patients dealing with bladder cancer and other urological issues.

First Sign of Bladder Cancer: Gross Hematuria

According to Dr. Kapadia, the most common and critical first sign of bladder cancer is gross hematuria, or visible blood in the urine. This symptom should be taken seriously, as it could indicate the presence of bladder cancer, particularly among individuals with a history of smoking. Even for those who have quit smoking, the risk of bladder cancer remains elevated.

The Importance of Early Detection

Dr. Kapadia emphasizes the importance of catching bladder cancer in its early stages, as this allows for more effective treatment and a better prognosis. If a patient experiences urinary complaints such as blood in the urine or more frequent urination, they should be evaluated for bladder cancer. Early detection and diagnosis can lead to more conservative treatments and improved outcomes for patients.

Bladder Cancer and Smoking

Smoking is a significant risk factor for bladder cancer, with former and current smokers being at higher risk. Dr. Kapadia notes that even after quitting smoking, individuals remain at an elevated risk for developing bladder cancer. This highlights the importance of regular screenings and evaluations for those with a history of smoking, as early detection is critical in bladder cancer treatment.

Treatment Options for Bladder Cancer

In the past, cystectomies, or the surgical removal of the bladder, were a common treatment for bladder cancer. Dr. Kapadia, who trained with leading expert Donald Skinner, has extensive experience in performing cystectomies and bladder reconstruction. However, thanks to advances in medical knowledge and treatment options, bladder removal is now less common. By catching bladder cancer early, more conservative treatments may be possible, resulting in better outcomes for patients.

Advanced Urology Institute

As the largest urology practice in Florida, the Advanced Urology Institute offers comprehensive care and state-of-the-art treatments for a wide range of urological issues, including bladder cancer. Dr. Ketan Kapadia and his team of experienced professionals are dedicated to providing personalized care and innovative solutions for patients, with a focus on early detection and effective treatment options.


I’m Ketan Kapadia, I’m with Advanced Urology Institute and board certified urologist.

Well number one is gross hematuria, blood in the urine.

If you see blood in the urine we need to make sure you don’t have bladder cancer and obviously

we see a lot of bladder cancer in Florida.

It happens to be much increased on patients who’ve had smoking history, even if you quit

you’re still at risk.

I used to do a lot of cystectomies where we removed bladders and do reconstruction.

Fortunately we don’t have to do those as much anymore.

I trained with Donald Skinner who was the leading expert on doing that operation.

But again we want to try to catch things early.

If somebody’s having urinary complaints of blood or even just more frequently going to

the bathroom and things are not right that may need to be evaluated for bladder cancer.

Are You at Risk for Bladder Cancer?

Bladder cancer is a common type of urological cancer that begins in cells of the bladder. The bladder is a hollow muscular organ in the lower abdomen where urine is stored. 

The cancer starts when cells of the bladder undergo changes, called mutations, in their DNA. Due to the changes, the cells multiply rapidly and uncontrollably. And they are also able to survive when normal and healthy cells die.

As a mass of abnormal cells builds forming a tumor, the resulting tumor invades and destroys normal bladder tissues and may even break away and spread through the body.

What are the different types of bladder cancer?

  1. Urothelial carcinoma (transitional cell carcinoma)

This is the most common type of bladder cancer. It occurs in the cells of the inner lining of the bladder, called urothelial cells. After cancer begins in these cells it often spreads to adjacent tissues and can even invade distant organs.

  1. Squamous cell carcinoma

This is a rare type of bladder cancer that tends to occur after an infection or long-term use of a urinary catheter. It is associated with chronic irritation of the bladder and can be caused by certain parasitic infections, such as schistosomiasis.

  1. Adenocarcinoma

This is also a less common type of bladder cancer. Adenocarcinoma occurs in the cells that form mucus-secreting glands in the bladder before invading adjacent tissues.

Who is at risk of bladder cancer?

  1. A smoker

Smoking of cigarettes is the most common association and causes of bladder cancer. In fact, smoking generally including cigars and pipes can also increase the risk of cancer. Cigarette and tobacco smoke contains harmful chemicals that reach the bloodstream and are excreted in urine.

When the chemicals linger in the bladder, they damage or cause changes in cells. This increases the risk of cancer. In fact, cigarette smokers have three times more risk of bladder cancer than non-smokers.

  1. A person over the age of 55 years

While bladder cancer can occur at any age, it is more often diagnosed in people above the age of 55 years. And with up to 90-percent of those with the cancer being aged 55 years or older, aging is a major risk factor for bladder cancer.

  1. Being male

Being male predisposes you to a higher risk of bladder cancer than being female. In fact, men are four times more likely to develop cancer than women. However, women have a higher likelihood of late diagnosis of the cancer, which makes them more likely to die of the disease than men.

  1. Being white

Race is a factor in bladder cancer. Generally, white people are twice as likely to be diagnosed with bladder cancer than black people. Nevertheless, black people are twice as likely to die from the disease as white people.

  1. Being frequently exposed to certain harmful chemicals

Frequent exposure to certain chemicals increases the risk of bladder cancer. For example, in places where arsenic is found in drinking water, there is a higher incidence of cancer.

Also, people repeatedly exposed to aromatic amines, such as benzidine and beta-naphthylamine, often used in the dye industry, have a higher risk of cancer.  Likewise, chemicals used to manufacture dyes, rubber, leather, paint, and textile products increase the risk of bladder cancer.

That is why painters, printers, machinists, hairdressers (due to heavy exposure to hair dyes), truck drivers (exposure to diesel fumes), and industrial workers in rubber, leather, textile, and paint factories have greater risk of bladder cancer.

The chemicals reach the bloodstream and get filtered by the kidneys, allowing them to be present in urine. Once in urine, they may cause mutation of bladder cells, which eventually triggers cancer.

  1. A person with chronic bladder inflammation

Repeated bladder inflammation causes changes in bladder cells and may result in cancer. Hence, conditions such as kidney and bladder stones, recurrent urinary tract infections, chronic inflammation (cystitis), and long-term use of a urinary catheter increase the risk of bladder cancer.

  1. A person with personal or family history of bladder cancer

If you have had previous bladder cancer, you’re more likely to get it again. Also, if you have blood relatives—a sibling, parent or child—who has had the cancer, you have a greater risk of the cancer, though it is rare for the disease to run in families.

  1. A person who has previously been treated for cancer

When you have been treated with the anti-cancer drug cyclo-phosphamide, you have a higher risk of bladder cancer. Similarly, if you have received radiation treatment aimed at your pelvis for a previous cancer, then you have a greater risk of developing bladder cancer.

How can you prevent bladder cancer?

While there is no guaranteed way of preventing bladder cancer, taking certain steps can reduce your risk of the disease. Useful preventative steps include:

  1. Avoiding smoking

If you’re not a smoker, just don’t start.  And if you smoke, speak with your doctor about a tailored plan to help you stop. Medications, support groups, and other methods may help.

  1. Taking precautions when around certain chemicals

When working with various chemicals, follow the necessary safety precautions to avoid exposure.

  1. Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables

A diet rich in vegetables and fruits will provide antioxidants that help reduce the risk of bladder cancer.

  1. Drinking enough fluid

When you drink a lot of fluid, particularly water, you lower your risk of bladder cancer. More fluid intake helps you to empty your bladder more frequently and ensures harmful chemicals do not linger in your bladder long enough to cause damage.

Compassionate, patient-centered cancer care

If you see blood in your urine, you could have bladder cancer and should be seen by a board certified urologist. 

Would you like to undergo timely and accurate screening and diagnostic tests for bladder cancer? 

Through our compassionate, patient-centered approach, Advanced Urology Institute ensures that all patients get quality time with urology oncologists, have their concerns addressed and undergo comprehensive screening and diagnostic testing. 

For more information on bladder cancer and other urological disorders, visit the site “Advanced Urology Institute.”

What is the primary symptom of bladder cancer?

Blood in the urine is the primary symptom of bladder cancer.  In fact, 8 in 10 people with bladder cancer will have blood in their urine, a condition doctors call hematuria. 

Generally, if you have visible blood in the urine there is an elevated chance that bladder cancer might be a concern. 

Non-specific sign of bladder cancer

Blood in the urine is the most common but not a very specific sign of bladder cancer. Blood in your urine could suggest common conditions such as urinary tract infection, benign (non-cancerous) tumors, kidney stones, or other benign kidney diseases.

So it’s important you tell your doctor if there is blood in your urine so that other conditions can be ruled out. 

What is the color of urine when there is bladder cancer?

Due to the presence of blood, urine can be rusty or deep red in color. In some cases, the urine may be dark brown. 

However, when the blood in urine is microscopic, it may not be detectable to the naked eyes so a urine test will be essential as a first order diagnostic tool. 

Bladder cancer and its symptoms can be subtle and oftentimes there’s little to no pain initially. 

As your bladder cancer progresses, you may experience the following:

  1. Urinate more often than usual (urinary frequency)
  2. Pain or burning sensation during urination
  3. Uncontrollable urge to urinate (urinary urgency)
  4. Pain in your pelvis or lower back
  5. Difficulty beginning urination (urinary hesitancy)
  6. Getting up several times at night to urinate
  7. Weak urine stream or trouble urinating

These symptoms may also be caused by other conditions, such as bladder stones, urinary tract infection (UTI), an overactive bladder, or an enlarged prostate (in men). You’ll need to have the symptoms checked by your doctor so that the cause can be found and treated.

What are the signs of advanced bladder cancer?

When bladder cancer has grown larger or has spread to other parts of the body, it can cause other more severe symptoms.  

Some of the symptoms include:

  1. Pain in the side or lower back
  2. Being unable to pass urine
  3. Feeling weak or tired
  4. Swelling in the feet
  5. Bone pain
  6. Weight loss
  7. Loss of appetite

Again, many of these symptoms can be caused by other conditions. So it is important that you get checked by your doctor.  If your doctor suspects that you have bladder cancer, the physician will order more specific tests and exams to confirm the cancer. 

At Advanced Urology Institute, we offer diagnostic and treatment services for bladder cancer. 

For more information on the diagnosis and treatment of bladder cancer, visit our website AdvancedUrologyInstitute.com

How Does Dr. Brian Hale Approach Bladder Cancer Treatment?


  • Dr. Brian Hale uses a TURBT procedure to treat early-stage bladder cancer.
  • For more advanced bladder cancer, Dr. Hale may need to perform a radical cystectomy to remove the entire bladder.
  • Dr. Hale works closely with oncologists to provide comprehensive cancer care for his patients.

Dr. Brian D. Hale is a board-certified urologist in Tampa, FL, who is part of the Advanced Urology Institute. In this article, we will discuss Dr. Hale’s approach to bladder cancer treatment, including the types of procedures he uses to treat the disease.

Early-Stage Bladder Cancer

Fortunately, most patients with bladder cancer are diagnosed with early-stage cancer that can be cured with a simple outpatient procedure. Dr. Hale will typically remove the tumor using a transurethral resection of bladder tumor (TURBT) procedure. This is a minimally invasive procedure that involves using a cystoscope to remove the tumor through the urethra.

Advanced Bladder Cancer

If the cancer has advanced or is too large to be removed through a TURBT procedure, Dr. Hale may need to perform a more aggressive surgery. In some cases, he may need to remove the entire bladder in a procedure called a radical cystectomy. During this procedure, the bladder is removed along with nearby lymph nodes and the prostate or uterus in men and women, respectively. The urine is then diverted into a bag outside the body or into a new reservoir made from a piece of the small intestine.

Comprehensive Cancer Care

Dr. Hale works closely with oncologists to provide comprehensive cancer care for his patients. He may recommend additional treatments, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy, depending on the stage and type of bladder cancer. He also provides ongoing monitoring to ensure that the cancer does not return.

Advanced Urology Institute

Advanced Urology Institute is the largest urology practice in Florida, with multiple locations throughout the state, including Tampa. Their team of experienced urologists, including Dr. Brian Hale, is dedicated to providing high-quality care to their patients. If you are in need of urological care, we highly recommend scheduling an appointment with Advanced Urology Institute.


My name is Brian Hale, I’m a board certified urologist working with Advanced Urology Institute.
So fortunately most of the patients that we find with bladder cancer have early stage
cancer that we can cure with a simple outpatient procedure.
If we find the cancer later or the cancer is too large or so large that it’s evading
into the bladder muscle, then we have to do a more aggressive surgery removing the entire bladder.


What are the most common bladder issues?

Ladies, do you have bladder problems that keep you from pursuing your goals? Do you want to exercise, work, travel, go out more and not worry about “accidents” happening?

If so, we have the help you need.

Bladder ConditionsAt Advanced Urology Institute, we know that you value your social life and we want you to keep enjoying the things you like doing.

Through our female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery (FPMRS) physicians at our Fort Myers office, we provide effective treatment for bladder issues in a compassionate, personalized, and multidisciplinary way, ensuring a high rate of success and uninterrupted social life.

You may not know it, but bladder problems have treatment options that dramatically improve symptoms from these conditions. With treatment, you will never have to reduce your physical activity or remain in isolation. Instead, regain your freedom and enjoy an improved quality of life. That is why you should see a physician with expertise in urogynecology to receive the specialized attention necessary for a quick and complete recovery.

[continue reading more about bladder conditions here]

How Does Dr. David Harris Diagnose & Treat Bladder Cancer?


  • Bladder cancer diagnosis typically begins with identifying blood in the urine, followed by further urinalysis tests, x-rays, and a bladder exam. Most tumors found in the bladder are non-invasive and highly treatable.
  • Treatment plans for bladder cancer often involve surgical intervention, radiation, and chemotherapy. In some cases, a radical cystectomy (removal of the bladder) may be necessary.
  • The prognosis for patients with bladder cancer is generally good, with a 5-year survival rate of 77% and a 15-year survival rate of 65%. Patients may need ongoing regular treatment and should keep all follow-up appointments.

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with bladder cancer, you probably have a lot of questions. The physicians at Advanced Urology Institute are experts in treating this type of cancer and will be there to guide you from diagnosis to recovery.

How Is Bladder Cancer Diagnosed?

One of the most common signs of bladder cancer is blood in the urine. You may notice this at home on your own, or a doctor might notice trace amounts during routine urine testing. The doctor will be able to determine if further testing is necessary, the next round of which includes more urinalysis tests, x-rays and a bladder exam.

Urologist Dr. David Harris of Fort Myers, FLDr. David Harris with AUI Fort Myers explains, “If we find a tumor, that tumor would be removed from inside the bladder and biopsied.” Dr. Harris reassures patients that most tumors found in the bladder are non-invasive and highly treatable.

How Is Bladder Cancer Treated?

Surgical intervention is used in most treatment plans for bladder cancer, either alone or along with another form of treatment. For patients whose tumors have grown into the muscle of their bladder, radical cystectomy (removal of the bladder) may be necessary. This procedure may also be recommended for patients who have a fast-growing tumor in the early stages of bladder cancer to prevent a future recurrence. Radiation and chemotherapy are often part of the treatment, especially for patients who are in the later stages of bladder cancer.

What Is The Prognosis For Patients With Bladder Cancer?

Compared to other cancers, the prognosis for patients with bladder cancer is good. The general 5-year survival rate for bladder cancer patients is 77 percent; the 15-year survival rate is 65 percent. Patients may need ongoing regular treatment to keep the cancer in check. It is important to keep all follow-up appointments to monitor recovery and make sure the cancer has not returned. Patients who have undergone a cystectomy will be fitted with a device to help them urinate; the exact solution varies depending on the type of surgery performed, but patients are commonly fitted with a urostomy bag. Although this does introduce new challenges, patients are able to resume most normal daily routines and enjoy a high quality of life.

Whatever your diagnosis, remember that you are not alone in your journey to recovery. Dr. Harris reassures patients that at AUI, “we’re trying to preserve bladders, trying to minimize problems with quality of life.” For more information on how our team of urology experts can help, visit the Advanced Urology Institute website.


My name is David Harris and I’m a urologist with Advanced Urology Institute in Fort Myers. So if a patient comes to us with blood in the urine, and there may be blood that the patient sees, it also may be blood discovered on urine testing, then we’re able to tell by looking at those test results, does that patient need to be worked up for this? And there’s an evaluation that includes urine testing, x-ray imaging, CAT scans, and cystoscopy, which is an exam of the bladder. And if we find a tumor, that tumor would be not just biopsied, but removed from inside the bladder. And most bladder cancers that we find are lower grade and what we call non-invasive. These are tumors of the lining, and fortunately there are good treatments for those. And what we’re doing for those is instilling into the bladder medications that have a good efficacy rate to treat those. So we’re trying to preserve bladders, trying to minimize problems with quality of life, and depending on the different tumor findings, there’s different agents we use and we need to match up the right patient with the right treatment.


Becoming a Urologist, The Satisfaction of Practicing Urology – Dr. Stephen Weiss

Video: Becoming a Urologist, The Satisfaction of Practicing Urology – Dr. Stephen Weiss

Dr. Weiss received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Iowa in 1989. He completed his medical degree at the University of Iowa School of Medicine in 1994. [Read Full Article…]

Being a Urologist, A Very Gratifying Medical Career – Dr Matthew Merrell

Video: Being a Urologist, A Very Gratifying Medical Career – Dr Matthew Merrell

Dr. Merrell is certified by the American Board of Urology and is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons. He is a member of the American Medical Association, the American Urological Association, the Florida Urologic Association and the Volusia County Medical Society. [Read Full Article…]