In fact, bladder cancer affects tens of thousands of women in the United States every year. According to statistics released by the National Cancer Institute, more than 18,000 women were diagnosed with this disease in 2009 and in excess of 22% percent died. The survivability rate of women with bladder cancer lags far behind that of men and African-American women have some of the highest mortality rates.
Perhaps the largest factor in the disparity between men and women is the symptoms. Early detection is generally delayed in women because the disease involves blood in the urine as an indication. While men immediately seek medical attention when detecting blood in their urine, women often attribute it to other causes including menstruation and dismiss it.
Bladder cancer can also possess similar symptoms as those found in a garden variety urinary tract infection, a common occurrence in women. These often recurring misdiagnoses can needlessly delay an appropriate course of cancer treatment.
Of course, because each patient is unique, bladder cancer does carry risk factors that will increase the aggressiveness and growth of the disease. Perhaps the single most dangerous risk factor is smoking. Smokers are twice as likely as non-smokers to have bladder cancer.
This disease also has a very high rate of recurrence. Patients who have survived one incident are 50% to 80% more likely to contract it again. It also is a disease that can affect women of any age.
They can detect, isolate, and remove cancerous growths before the disease begins to spread to other parts of the body; thereby, increasing a woman’s chances for survival.
Studies have shown that women have a far higher mortality rate than men when it comes to bladder cancer. Consulting a highly trained urologist early on can help thousands of women live longer, happier lives.