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Let’s talk about bladder cancer

May is Bladder Cancer Awareness month and we wanted to take a moment to highlight some of the stats and symptoms in case they’re helpful to anyone reading.

May is Bladder Cancer Awareness month and we wanted to take a moment to highlight some of the stats and symptoms in case they’re helpful to anyone reading. We are not doctors, and all of this information is in the public domain, but if we hope that in sharing it, it could help someone to get a diagnosis a little earlier.

National Cancer Institute - clasped hands

Bladder cancer symptoms

Any time you have changes in your body that don't seem quite right, remember it's ok to speak to your doctor and check. However, some of the most common symptoms of bladder cancer cited by the NHS include:

  • Blood in your urine
  • A need to urinate on a more frequent basis
  • Sudden urges to urinate
  • A burning sensation when passing urine

At more advanced stages it can also include:

  • Pelvic pain
  • Bone pain
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Swelling of the legs
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Read about how touch therapies benefit cancer patients’ mental wellbeing|Find out more

Typical treatments for bladder cancer

Bladder cancer is usually treated by a multidisciplinary team of doctors including a urologist, clinical oncologist, pathologist and radiologist. How bladder cancer is treated depends, as with all cancers, it depends on what type and stage it is, as well as other things including your wider wellbeing.

For example, if it's non-muscle-invasive and low risk then it might be possible to treat it by removing the tumour surgically. Sometimes if it occurs after six months it can be treated using fulguration - an electric current to destroy the cancer cells.

Intermediate-risk non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer usually includes a course of chemotherapy.

High-risk non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer is likely to be offered both an operation to resect the tumour as well as a course of Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) treatment.

Muscle-invasive bladder cancer on the other hand is likely to be treated with an operation to remove your bladder (cystectomy) as well as radiotherapy. There may also be a discussion around chemotherapy.

You can find out more about bladder cancer treatment on the NHS website.

Spa treatments and your cancer journey

All cancer treatments have their side effects that doctors will be able to offer advice on. From our perspective, spas are certainly not going to fix all problems, but with properly trained spa therapists and the right products, they can help to ease some side effects of cancer treatments and to provide support on your cancer journey. For example, the right type of massage has been shown to help ease pain, improve mood and help with sleeplessness. Meanwhile, products from brands like Jennifer Young help to ease some of the skincare side effects of cancer treatment.

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Read about how it feels to go to a spa when you’ve had cancer|Find out more

If you would like to find out more about spas where therapists are trained to provide the best support on your cancer journey, you can follow the link to our Safe Hands for Cancer experiences, or read more articles on this blog.

Read more about cancer support in UK spas

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