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Bladder Cancer


Bladder cancer starts in the cells that line your bladder.


Call 911 for any of the following:

  • Your arm or leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
  • You have chest pain when you take a deep breath or cough.
  • You suddenly feel lightheaded and short of breath.
  • You cough up blood.

Seek care immediately if:

  • You are unable to urinate, or you have pain in your lower abdomen.
  • You have blood in your urine.

Contact your healthcare provider or oncologist if:

  • You have a fever.
  • You vomit and cannot keep any liquids or food down.
  • Your pain gets worse or does not go away after you take pain medicine.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Follow up with your healthcare provider or oncologist as directed:

You will need to see your oncologist for ongoing treatment. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Do not smoke:

Nicotine can damage blood vessels and make it more difficult to manage your bladder cancer. Smoking also increases your risk for new or returning cancer and can delay healing after treatment. Do not use e-cigarettes or smokeless tobacco in place of cigarettes or to help you quit. They still contain nicotine. Ask your healthcare provider for information if you currently smoke and need help quitting.

Drink liquids as directed:

Your healthcare provider may recommend that you drink more liquids to prevent dehydration. Ask how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you.

Limit or do not drink alcohol as directed:

Alcohol may make you dehydrated. Men should limit alcohol to 2 drinks per day. Women should limit alcohol to 1 drink per day. A drink of alcohol is 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1½ ounces of liquor.

Eat healthy foods:

Healthy foods include fruits, vegetables, whole-grain breads, low-fat dairy products, beans, lean meats, and fish. Ask if you need to be on a special diet.

Follow chemical safety guidelines:

If you work with chemicals, follow safety guidelines. This can help limit your exposure to chemicals that can increase your risk for bladder cancer.

Exercise as directed:

Exercise may help increase your energy level and appetite. Ask your healthcare provider how much exercise you need and which exercises are best for you.

© 2015 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.