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Anna

Diagnosed in 2008 at age 41 with bladder cancer 

In August, 2008, I was diagnosed with bladder cancer. At the time, I was a 41-year-old physically fit non-smoker and, like most, thought that bladder cancer was a disease that only affected male senior citizens. Before my diagnosis, following a bout with kidney stones, my local urologist had diagnosed me with chronic urinary tract infections.

In April, 2008, after voiding a huge amount of blood, I called my doctor’s office and a nurse told me that there was nothing to worry about because it always looks like there is more blood than there actually is, but, I could make another appointment if I wanted. I went with her opinion, but four months later, I again voided red blood. I called back and this time the nurse asked if maybe I was just menstruating. The bleeding continued for a week, so I insisted that my doctor perform a cystoscopy and the procedure revealed that I had a tumor in my bladder. Days later, I would be told that I not only had bladder cancer, but urinary bladder adenocarcinoma, an extremely rare form of the disease.

In September, I had a radical cystectomy with construction of a neobladder using a portion of my intestines. I now have been cancer free for over four years and never have been healthier. However, when I look back at my misdiagnosis, I shudder to think what might have happened if I had blindly followed my doctor’s diagnosis instead of listening to my intuition. Blood in the urine, known medically as hematuria, isn’t usually a reason for major alarm. However, it shouldn’t be ignored. All cases of hematuria should be evaluated by a urologist, who can order tests to confirm or rule out an underlying cause. That is what I did and if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t be alive today to tell my story.

Walk with BCAN, Talk with BCAN

Please join us for two exciting virtual events
in October 2020

Fall Virtual Walk to End Bladder Cancer
October 3, 2020 at 11:00 am ET

Virtual Summit for Patients and Families
October 10, 2020 at 1:00 pm ET