More than 70,000 Americans will be diagnosed with bladder cancer this year

Smoking is the leading cause of bladder cancer

DENVER - The bladder is an amazing organ with a very special design. November is recognized as National Bladder Health Month and expert urologists at The Urology Center of Colorado (TUCC) have put together a list of bladder health facts all Coloradans should be aware of.


  • Certain diseases or changes in the body can impact the storage capacity and function of the bladder. For example, the lower urinary tract consists of the bladder and the urethra. Symptoms associated with lower urinary tract conditions are referred to as lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS). These symptoms include urinary frequency, urgency, hesitancy, dysuria, slow stream and nocturia.


  • More than 70,000 Americans will be diagnosed with bladder cancer this year, making it the fifth most commonly diagnosed cancer in the country.


  • Smoking is the leading cause of bladder cancer. Smokers are twice as likely to be diagnosed with bladder cancer as those who have never picked up a cigarette.


  • While more men are diagnosed with bladder cancer than women, the rate of incidence among women is increasing. Women also tend to present with more advanced bladder cancer tumors when diagnosed.


  • There have been many treatment advances for bladder cancer in recent years. A cystectomy, the surgical removal of the bladder, is one treatment option for bladder cancer patients. In 2010, surgeons at TUCC performed the first robotic cystectomy in Denver.


  • Other treatment options for bladder cancer may include radiation, chemotherapy, immunotherapy or other scope-based surgical procedures.


  • Urinary frequency and urgency, with or without incontinence, also known as overactive bladder and urge incontinence, is the most common bladder condition afflicting women. This condition is often caused by bladder muscle spasms, which result in an urgent need to go to the bathroom and may be followed by an involuntary loss of urine. There are many effective treatment options available for overactive bladder from lifestyle changes (fluid management) and muscle training to medications or surgery.


  • Interstitial cystitis is a chronic bladder condition caused by damage to the protective lining of the bladder. Patients experience symptoms of urinary frequency, urinary urgency or pain in the areas between the navel and the inside of the thighs that can be mild or severe and occasional or constant. Approximately 90 percent of patients diagnosed with interstitial cystitis are women.


  • Childbirth is the most common risk factor for developing pelvic organ prolapse, the loosening and potential slipping of the pelvic organs from their normal anatomical position.


For more information on bladder cancer or other conditions that can impact your bladder health, please visit

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