Bladder Cancer in Men vs Women
As one of the most common types of cancer, bladder cancer affects both men and women. However, the disease affects members of these groups differently in a few key ways.
If you think you or someone you know may have bladder cancer, it's important to understand the differences and similarities between bladder cancer in men and women. Let's take a look at this cancer's incidence, diagnosis and treatment with regard to a person's sex.
A significant amount of research shows that bladder cancer occurs more often in men than in women. For males, bladder cancer is the fourth most common cancer. For women, the disease is far less common. In 2019, men will have an estimated 61,700 cases of bladder cancer, compared to only 18,770 in women.
In recent years, bladder cancer incidence and mortality rates have declined in women. In men, incidence rates have dropped, while mortality rates have stayed consistent. What causes bladder cancer to occur more frequently in males isn't known for sure.
Because being male greatly increases your chances of getting bladder cancer, you should familiarize yourself with early signs and symptoms and consult your doctor immediately if you have concerns.
Symptoms and Diagnosis
Though men develop bladder cancer at higher rates, both men and women share the same symptoms. Common symptoms of bladder cancer include:
- Blood in urine
- Pain when urinating
- Frequent need to urinate
- Difficulty urinating
If you notice any of these symptoms, make an appointment to see your physician. Your doctor will likely use the same methods to diagnose bladder cancer in women and men. Your doctor might use a conventional procedure such as cystoscopy, which involves inserting a tiny camera into the bladder, or a non-invasive laboratory urine test like Cxbladder, which looks for signs of cancer at the molecular level.
Interestingly, women receive bladder cancer diagnoses later than men on average, possibly because some doctors misdiagnose their symptoms as urinary tract infections or menstruation.
Treatment for bladder cancer often follows the same path for men and women. For less advanced cases, treatment generally involves surgery followed by chemotherapy delivered to the bladder.
However, if your surgeon recommends completely removing the bladder, they may also need to remove neighboring structures. Successful bladder removal may require removal of the ovaries and uterus in females and the prostate in males, which means surgery may affect people differently depending on their sex.
Seeking a Bladder Cancer Diagnosis
Though men and women experience bladder cancer differently in some ways, they have more experiences in common than not. For both groups, seeking medical assistance early can increase the likelihood of successful treatment and recovery.
If you have any symptoms of bladder cancer, such as blood in your urine, take note and reach out to your doctor. A medical professional can help diagnose the cause of your symptoms.
Whether you're male or female, getting tested for bladder cancer can give you peace of mind and ensure you receive the treatment you may need. Learn more about Cxbladder by contacting one of our representatives.
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