May is Bladder Cancer Month

Learn about Bladder Cancer and Stay Informed with the e-Center for Women’s Cancer and Maternal Health Awareness

bladder cancer
bladder cancer image

What is bladder cancer?

Bladder cancer occurs when abnormal cells within the bladder grow in an uncontrolled way.

The bladder is located in the lower abdomen. It is a hollow organ with a muscular wall that allows it to get bigger or smaller as needed.

The bladder stores urine until it is released from the body through the urethra. If cancer cells do not spread beyond the lining of the bladder, this is called superficial

bladder cancer.

Sometimes, cancer cells can spread into the muscle wall of the bladder or to other organs and lymph nodes. This is called invasive bladder cancer.

What are the symptoms of bladder cancer?

The most common symptoms of bladder cancer are:


Presence of blood in urine, which can be visible or microscopic

Frequent urination

Needing to urinate more often than usual.

Pain during urination

Feeling a strong urge to urinate or experiencing discomfort while urinating. Also called urinary emergency

Bladder cancer can present with various symptoms, and it’s essential to be aware of them for early detection and timely treatment. If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s crucial to consult a healthcare professional for further evaluation.

Remember, early detection improves the chances of successful treatment and a positive outcome. Stay informed and take charge of your health!

Risk Factors for Bladder Cancer

A risk factor is a factor associated with an increased chance of developing bladder cancer. While having a risk factor doesn’t guarantee the development of bladder cancer, understanding these factors can help raise awareness.

Here are some common risk factors:

Treatment options

Treatment and care of people with cancer is usually provided by a team of health professionals – called a multidisciplinary team.

Treatment for bladder cancer depends on the stage of the disease, the severity of symptoms and the person’s general health.

Treatment options can include surgery to remove part or all of the bladder, radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy to destroy cancer cells.

Research is ongoing to find new ways to diagnose and treat different types of cancer.

Some people may be offered the option of participation in a clinical trial to test new ways of treating bladder cancer.

doctor talking to a patient

Finding support

E-Center provides general information about cancer as well as information on local resources and relevant support groups.

The Helpline can be accessed from
anywhere in South Africa by calling 078 816 5420 for the cost of a local call

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