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What is bladder cancer?

Bladder cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the bladder, which is a hollow organ in the pelvis that stores urine. It is the sixth most common cancer in the United States and is more commonly diagnosed in men than in women. Most bladder cancers are diagnosed at an early stage when the cancer is highly treatable. However, bladder cancer is known to reoccur, making follow-up testing after treatment necessary. 

What causes bladder cancer?

There are no known causes of bladder cancer, but several factors can increase the risk of developing bladder cancer.

  • Age, those over 55
  • Male gender
  • Smoking
  • Occupational exposure, such as those that involve exposure to chemicals like benzidine and beta-naphthalene
  • Radiation exposure
  • Personal or family history


Bladder cancer symptoms

The symptoms of bladder cancer can vary depending on the stage of the disease. If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms, speak with your primary care provider to determine the cause. 

  • Blood in the urine (hematuria)
  • Painful urination
  • Frequent urination
  • Urgency to urinate
  • Lower back pain
  • Pelvic pain
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss


Bladder cancer screenings and diagnosis

There is no standard screening test for bladder cancer, but there are several tests that can be used to diagnose the disease. These include:

  • Urine cytology
  • Cystoscopy
  • Biopsy


Bladder cancer treatment and surgery

The treatment for bladder cancer depends on the stage and grade of the cancer, as well as the person’s overall health. Based on that information, an oncologist may use one or more treatment options. 

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Radiation therapy

The multidisciplinary team at St. Luke’s Health—consisting of oncologists, primary care providers, radiologists, and other specialists—works with patients to recommend a treatment plan customized to their specific situation. Talk to your primary care provider for more information.

Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the cervix, which is the lower part of the uterus. It often develops slowly and may not show any symptoms in its early stages. However, if left untreated, it can spread to other parts of the body.

Cervical cancer risk factors

Several factors can increase the risk of developing cervical cancer. Some of the most common ones are:

  • HPV infection
  • Having the first full-term pregnancy before the age of 17
  • Having three or more full-term pregnancies
  • Long-term use of birth control pills
  • Smoking
  • Weak immune system
  • Family history

Cervical cancer symptoms

In the early stages, cervical cancer may not cause any symptoms. However, as the cancer grows and spreads, the following symptoms may occur:

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding, such as bleeding between periods, after sex, or after menopause
  • Pain during sex
  • Unusual vaginal discharge
  • Pelvic pain
  • Periods that are longer or heavier than normal

Cervical cancer screenings and diagnosis

Regular screening is crucial for detecting cervical cancer early, when it is most treatable. The following screening options are available:

Cervical cancer treatment

The treatment for cervical cancer depends on several factors, including the stage of the cancer, the woman's age and overall health, and whether she wants to have children in the future. Your oncologist may recommend one or more of the following treatment options:

  • Surgery
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy

If you or a loved one has concerns about cervical cancer, speak with an oncologist for more information. Our team of oncologists at St. Luke’s Health is trained to diagnose and treat cervical cancer and can provide you with personalized recommendations. Speak with your primary care provider about any questions or concerns you may have about cervical cancer, as early detection and treatment can greatly improve your chances of recovery.

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U.S. News & World Report

Home of the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of only three NCI-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in Texas, U.S. News & World Report has accredited Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center as one of the best hospitals for several specialties, including previous accreditation for compassionate patient-centered cancer care.