I went to see a urologist a few months ago after having experienced a couple week-long episodes - separated by several months without symptoms - involving discomfort during urination and incomplete emptying. He saw something abnormal in the ultrasound and I came back for a cystoscopy, and he found a growth which he said he would think was bladder cancer if not for my young age (just turned 24). Because of my age, he suspects its some sort of cystitis (sp?). He said that if it were cancer it looked like it was superficial. I'm scheduled for a biopsy in a couple weeks. I'd appreciate any info on how common bladder cancer is in people my age. If this were just cystitis or some other inflamation, would it resemble bladder cancer so closely? It seems to me that if it looked like anything else, his instict would have been to say "that looks like ____" rather than "that looks a lot like cancer, but I doubt it because of your age." From what I've seen on the web it seems that bladder cancer is relatively rare in people my age, though it can happen. I don't smoke cigarettes, but I smoked a decent ammount of marijuana in my late teens and still do occasionally. I drink coffee most mornings, and don't drink much alcohol - a beer at dinner a couple times a week and more heavy drinking maybe once or twice a month. I can't think of any workplace toxins I've been exposed to. Any information that would help me get a better sense of how concerned I should be would be much appreciated. I should have asked the doctor more questions but I was a little shocked at the time.
Though bladder cancer can occur at any age, even in kids it is usually a disease of middle-aged and elderly men and women. When it does occur in young adults the cancers are better behaved and usually superficial and therefore have a better prognosis.
The commonest sign of a bladder cancer is bleeding in urine-hematuria. Some bladder cancers can present with pain during urination, urgency and frequency. These are called carcinoma- in- situ and they have a relatively worse prognosis.
Cigarette smoking, analgesic abuse, exposure to aniline dyes, stones are some of the risk factors for developing bladder cancer but it can occur without any known risk factors.
Cystitis which is inflammation of the bladder can sometimes visually resemble a superficial bladder cancer.
You will need a urine cytology where the urine will be examined for any cancerous cells which are shed and a ultrasonography. However the diagnosis can only be confirmed by a cystoscopic biopsy.
This answer is not intended and does not substitute for medical advice- the information is for patient education only.
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