Anyone suffering pain or discomfort in their bladder should go to the doctor right away. Although unlikely, it could be bladder cancer, a malady that is all too easy to misdiagnose.
What Is Bladder Cancer?
Bladder cancer is a form of the disease that develops within the body’s epithelial cells. These make up the lining of the bladder. This muscular organ, as you probably already know, is responsible for storing urine until it’s time for excretion. There are some different types of bladder cancer, though they’re usually just referred to under this umbrella term. Versions include sarcoma and lymphoma, but those are fairly rare.
Diagnosis and Symptoms
If you begin feeling pain in your bladder, you should see a doctor immediately. Even if it’s not cancer, nothing good happens when your bladder starts reporting discomfort.
However, the problem with the symptoms of bladder cancer is that they lend themselves to misdiagnosis. Even an experienced doctor may think a patient has cystitis, a prostate infection or some other non-cancerous disease. If you are later found to have bladder cancer after your doctor misdiagnosed you, consider seeing a malpractice attorney as you may be entitled to damages, something that could be very helpful when paying for insurance.
Diagnosis of bladder cancer usually begins with a cystoscopy. This involves a tube being inserted into the patient’s urethra to locate any suspicious lesions. Upon finding them, the tube can carry out a biopsy and bring back remnants for testing.
Another test that can be performed is urine cytology. All it takes is some voided urine collected after the cystoscopy. Once again, though, there’s a challenge where bladder cancer is concerned. If the results come back negative, they can also be highly inconclusive.
This is why some doctors may then recommend that you proceed with x-rays and CT scans to get a better look at what’s going on inside your bladder.
Like we said, there are some diseases and ailments that display similar symptoms to bladder cancer. These include:
- Kidney cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Overactive bladder
- Renal cell carcinoma
- Bladder papilloma or other types of benign tumors
- Benign prostatic hyperplasia
- Kidney infections
- Bladder infections
Not that any of these are especially attractive conditions, but if you are diagnosed with one of them, ask your doctor to be sure you don’t have bladder cancer instead.
The good news is that, when caught early, bladder cancer is very responsive to treatment. Unfortunately, it also has a very high rate of reoccurrence. This is why most treatment plans involve numerous trips back to the doctor even after a clean bill of health. Patients need to be careful not to risk a relapse.
Medical Malpractice and Bladder Cancer
In case you’re not aware, misdiagnoses are some of the most common forms of medical malpractice. When you think about it, they can also be some of the most harmful too. When it comes to bladder cancer, having to wait on the correct diagnosis could severely lower your chances of survival or simply cause much greater amounts of pain and discomfort.
Obviously, bladder cancer is very easy to misdiagnose too. This may lead you to believe, then, that it’s also easy to file suit over. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Medical malpractice is notoriously hard to prove. When it comes to something like bladder cancer, the cards are especially stacked against you because the law understands doctors will make mistakes.
To prove your doctor is responsible for your pain and suffering, you need to hire an experienced attorney who can show the court that your doctor really should have known better than to make the diagnosis they did.
Hopefully, it’s never necessary, but now you know what bladder cancer entails. If you are the victim of medical malpractice, make sure you hire a lawyer as soon as possible.