With news of Actos’ association with an increased risk of bladder cancer, many current and former Actos users may be looking for additional information on bladder cancer screenings, symptoms and stages. The information provided below is meant as a helpful starting point for any Actos users who want to address their bladder cancer concerns with their doctor.
Common symptoms of bladder cancer include blood in the urine, changes in the color of your urine, pain during urination and changes in your urination habits. Experiencing these symptoms should always be a signal to go see your doctor to be properly screened. However, experiencing these symptoms does not necessarily mean that you have bladder cancer. Bladder cancer is often asymptomatic, especially in its early stages.
One of the methods to test for bladder cancer is a procedure known as a cystoscopy. During a cystoscopy, a very thin, tubular scope is passed through the urethra. This provides your doctor with a view of your bladder. Some scopes have a tool that allows the removal of small tissue samples for further testing. The purpose of the cystoscopy is to view any abnormal areas within the bladder or the bladder’s lining.
Stage 0 –
Stage 0 cancer is classified as the discovery of abnormal cells within the lining of the bladder that may develop into cancer. Depending on the type of cells discovered, this may be further classified as papillary carcinoma – small mushroom like cells within the lining of the bladder or carcinoma – a cluster of flat cells in the lining’s tissue.
In Stage III, cancer has spread from the bladder to the tissue surrounding the bladder and may have spread to the reproductive organs. For example, bladder cancer often spreads to the prostate (men), seminal vesicles, uterus (women), or vagina (women).
In stage IV, cancer has spread from the bladder to the abdomen or pelvis. Cancer may have also spread to one or more of the lymph nodes or other parts of the body.
If you used Actos’ for more than one year, you may have an increased risk of developing bladder cancer. See (http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm259150.htm) and should see your doctor for further information about your risk of bladder risk.