Sunday , July 21 2024

InterCommunity Cancer Center Encourages Awareness of Bladder Cancer Symptoms

InterCommunity Cancer Center Encourages Awareness of Bladder Cancer SymptomsThis year an estimated 16,000 deaths will occur from bladder cancer, and 74,000 men and women will be diagnosed with the disease, according to The American Cancer Society (ACS). It is the fourth most common cancer in men, and the tenth most common in woman. In spite of these high numbers, little public awareness or discussion exists about bladder cancer compared to other cancers that have high profile campaigns promoting symptom awareness and screening.
“We need to raise awareness of the symptoms and risk factors for bladder cancer, since, like most cancers, the earlier it is diagnosed, the better the chance for a positive outcome,” explained Dr. Hal Jacobsen, medical director and radiation oncologist at InterCommunity Cancer Center in Lady Lake, Fla. “Unfortunately, many people are reluctant to talk about the ‘below-the-belt’ symptoms bladder cancer can cause, but they need to put their hesitancy aside and check with their healthcare provider as soon as they notice anything out of the ordinary.”
Bladder Cancer Symptoms
The first symptom of bladder cancer most people notice is blood in their urine, which may change their urine color to pink or red. However, in some cases the urine may look normal, and the blood can only be detected with a urine test usually done when other symptoms are present. It is important to note that blood in the urine does not necessarily indicate bladder cancer, as many other things can cause this condition, such as an infection, kidney stones, non-cancerous tumors, and other kidney-
related issues. Changes in bladder habits or signs of irritation are also common in the early stages of the disease.
Symptoms of more advanced bladder cancer can include:
• Lower back pain
• Lack of appetite and weight loss
• Feeling tired or weak
• Swelling in the feet
• Bone pain
Reduce Your Risk―Stop Smoking Today!
The exact cause of bladder cancer is not known, but studies have shown that smoking is the most important risk factor. The American Cancer Society reports that smokers are at least three times more likely to get bladder cancer than nonsmokers, and smoking is responsible for roughly half of all bladder cancers in both men and women. If you smoke, it is time to quit! The American Cancer Society has many resources that can help.
Other Risk Factors
Bladder cancer risk increases with age, and about nine out of ten people with the disease are older than 55. Working with industrial materials and chemicals such as rubber, leather, textiles, paint, diesel fumes, and hair dyes have all been linked to the disease. Smokers have a very high risk of developing the cancer if they are also exposed to these potentially cancer-causing agents. Arsenic in drinking water, chronic bladder infections and not drinking enough fluids are additional risk factors.
Most Bladder Cancers Are Found Early
Fortunately, the majority of bladder cancer is detected early when the disease is highly treatable. People with stage I bladder cancer have a five year survival rate of about 88 percent, according to the National Cancer Institute. However, rates for later stages of the disease decline, which is why symptom awareness and early detection is so important. Depending on the stage of the cancer and other factors, treatment may include surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation, and a combination of therapies may be recommended.
“We have many advanced radiation technologies to treat bladder cancer that enable us to use high doses of radiation to accurately target the cancerous tumor while minimizing damage to normal healthy tissues,” said Dr. Jacobsen, who has extensive experience treating bladder cancer. “This precise targeting reduces side effects, which is very important for quality of life when treating bladder cancer patients.”
For more information about ICCC’s advanced cancer treatments, please visit
InterCommunity Cancer Center (ICCC) has 30 years of experience providing quality, personalized cancer care in the Lady Lake and Leesburg communities and has treated more than 10,000 patients. Radiation Oncologist Drs. Hal Jacobson brings exceptional expertise in treating breast, lung, prostate, gynecologic, skin and other cancers. As part of McKesson Specialty Health, Vantage Oncology and The US Oncology Network, McKesson’s physician-led network of integrated, community-based oncology practices, provide patients and practices a best-in-class platform and a robust suite of customizable offerings and services including comprehensive oncology management services across radiation oncology, surgical specialties and medical oncology while maintaining focus on community-based oncology care and innovative value-based cancer services. ICCC has access to clinical information and best practices from the treatment of more than 1,000 patients per day enabling highly effective and peer-collaborated treatments. This provides ICCC the ability to offer academic-quality treatment in a community based setting and gives local communities exceptional cancer care services close to home. To learn more, visit
Inter Community Cancer Center
(352) 674-6300

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