Even if you’re vigilant about getting regular breast exams, Pap tests, and skin checks, bladder cancer may not really be on your radar. After all, it’s far more common among men than women, and the majority of cases affect patients over age 65. But don’t let those stats keep you from learning to spot the symptoms. “Many people mistakenly think bladder cancer is only a disease of older men,” says Arjun Balar, MD, an oncologist at NYU Langone Medical Center. “But there are more than 18,000 women who are diagnosed with this cancer every year in the United States.”
And because women may not be on the lookout for early bladder cancer symptoms, the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network reports that women are more likely to be diagnosed with bladder cancer at an advanced stage. Knowing the symptoms can help you get diagnosed sooner, which can improve your prognosis. Here are a few warning signs to watch for.