Coronavirus COVID-19 Information
- Information for patients who have a scheduled test, appointment or telehealth visit
- Information for hospital visitors
- Donations: How you can help
Did you know Rhode Island has the highest per capita rate of bladder cancer in the country? Each year, between 350 and 400 cases are diagnosed in RI alone.
Bladder cancer is often painless unless it is in an advanced stage of disease. The most common and sometimes the only warning sign of bladder cancer is blood in the urine.
Recently, there has been an increase in the number of women in their forties and fifties diagnosed with bladder cancer. Because it’s not commonly thought of as a disease that impacts this group, women in particular may tend to ignore the most common sign -- blood in the urine. Women may mistakenly assume blood in the urine is due to a more common condition, such as a urinary tract infection or menstruation, and disregard it.
Increasing numbers of women are treated and retreated with antibiotics for an alleged urinary tract infection. The antibiotics may actually resolve symptoms that could be associated with bladder cancer, but only temporarily. When the symptoms return, and more antibiotic treatments fail, it results in a delayed referral to a urologist, and ultimately a delay in treatment. Please, never ignore blood in the urine! Evaluation by a urologist is key to diagnosis.
There are a few risk factors that may increase your risk for bladder cancer. You may lower your risk by making changes to your lifestyle.
There are other factors that increase your risk, but unfortunately cannot be modified. Those include aging, risk increases with age; and race, Caucasians are at a greater risk than other races.
If you experience blood in the urine, you should be evaluated by a urologist as soon as possible. No one should ignore this symptom, but especially women and those who are at higher risk. Prompt diagnosis and treatment are essential.
To evaluate for bladder cancer, a provider will assess for risk factors of urologic disease and order tests, such as a urinalysis, blood test, a urological procedure called cystoscopy, or diagnostic imaging with a CT scan.