Donate to Bladder Cancer Research, Patient Care and Education

Bladder cancer occurs when the urinary tract is exposed to various carcinogens during the processing of food and drinks. 80 percent of cases of bladder cancer originates in the lining of the bladder, while 10 percent originate in the renal pelvis and 10 percent start in the urethra. Cancers of the urinary tract are the fourth most common type of cancer in men and they are the sixth most common type of cancer in general. While men have an increased risk of bladder cancer, women with bladder cancer will experience the same symptoms and often have a more aggressive case of the disease. These more aggressive cases of bladder cancer will often require more drastic treatments such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy, and in some cases, bladder removal. When you make a donation to Northwestern Memorial Foundation, you are ensuring that physicians on the medical staff have the proper resources to effectively diagnose bladder cancer and provide treatment in a timely manner.

Most cases of bladder cancer will cause blood in the urine, though early cases may cause an amount of blood that can only be detected via lab analysis. More developed cases will cause bleeding that is visible in urine. Blood in the urine may occur only once — therefore, it may be difficult to determine if it is the result of an infection, menstruation or sexual intercourse.

Other symptoms of bladder cancer are difficulty urinating (slow, weak or interrupted flow), decreased or frequent urination, erectile dysfunction, weight loss, weakness, loss of bladder or bowel control, or pain or stiffness of the lower back, ribs or upper thighs. These symptoms can also be caused by other conditions, making diagnosing a case of bladder cancer more challenging. With your donations, Northwestern Medicine can do further research to improve the process of diagnosing bladder cancer.

The exact cause of bladder cancer remains unknown, but there are several known factors that increase the risk of developing bladder cancer. Men over 50 are at an increased risk of bladder cancer, and nearly half of all patients affected with bladder cancer are smokers. Other risk factors include a family history of colon or lung cancer, bladder inflammation and occupational exposure to certain chemicals or contaminated water. When you make a contribution to Northwestern Memorial Foundation, you become an integral part in helping our scientists further investigate possible causes, treatments and a possible cure for this potentially lethal disease.

Cancers are treated in a variety of ways and the treatment options available to a given patient will depend on a number of factors, such as the extent to which the disease has developed and the overall health of the patient. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy, intravesical therapies, and surgical removal of tumors are a few of the available treatments.

Bladder Cancer Research, Patient Care and Education Donation

Northwestern Medicine is part of a national committee that is a known leader in the treatment of bladder cancer, among other diseases. Your donation to Northwestern Memorial Foundation goes a long way toward improving diagnoses and treatments of bladder cancer. Northwestern Medicine is already conducting research on bladder cancer, including new treatments. Consider donating today to help us improve the lives of patients with cancer via leading-edge treatment options.

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