Most of us can carry 16 ounces of liquid – that’s just one glass of water in each hand. But if our bodies can’t hold 16 ounces on the inside, then it may be time to call a doctor.
That’s roughly the ability of the average bladder, 16 ounces. Every day, about seven times a day, this hollow organ gradually fills up, stores and then eliminates all those cups of fluids we take in.
Unless, of course, something is wrong. Would you recognize the signs your bladder would send? Highlighting fourth-most-common cancer in men, so let’s learn what our bladder is telling us.
The Urine Test: 5 Bladder Facts
Bladder cancer happens when abnormal cells develop and grow uncontrollably, forming a tumor. This tumor can damage tissue and impede the bladder’s capability to function.
Bladder cancer cannot be treated if it is not detected, however. Here are five facts about your bladder that may serve as warning signs.
- It minds if you smoke – a lot. Cigarette smoking is the leading reason for bladder cancer; it’s three times more likely among smokers than nonsmokers. This is because the carcinogens flow through the urinary tract and sit in the bladder while it is filling.
- It’s a complicated storage tank. The bladder is basically four layers of tissue, blood vessels, and muscles that collectively enable it to expand, store and contract. The most common bladder cancer (transitional cell carcinoma) occurs in the cells lining the bladders inside.
- It likes to be diluted. Research indicates that drinking lots of fluids, especially water, can decrease rates of bladder cancer, possibly because it makes us pee more frequently, washing out toxins.
- It is not pretty in pink. Hematuria, or blood in the urine, is a sign of bleeding from the bladder and the most common symptom of bladder cancer. It will tint urine from pink to dark brown.
- An ailing bladder can’t store urine as well. The result is the urgent need to pee and more frequent trips to the bathroom. Though these symptoms can signal something less serious like overactive bladder, it’s worth getting checked out. Urination may be painful as well. If this happens to you or a loved one, call your urologist.