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Bladder Cancer and Getting Social Security Disability Benefits

Bladder cancer is a form of cancer that starts in your bladder. A malignant (cancerous) tumor is often found after you notice blood in your urine.

Cancer is a disease that originates in your cells. Your cells are the building blocks of your body. When your body is functioning like it should, old cells die when they are supposed to, and new cells are formed by your body to replace them as they are needed.

However, this process can malfunction. Old cells do not die like they should, and new cells are produced even though they are not needed.

Benign and malignant tumors

These extra cells can form a tumor (mass). These tumors may either be benign or malignant. If they are benign, they are not cancer. If they are malignant, they are cancer.

Your bladder is a balloon-shaped organ that is located in your pelvic area, just behind and above your pubic bone. When your bladder in empty, it is about the same shape and size of a pear.

Your bladder stores urine. This permits urination to be both voluntary and infrequent. Layers of muscle tissue that line your bladder stretch to hold urine. The normal capacity of your bladder is 400 to 600 milliliters.

Carcinogens that may cause bladder cancer

Bladder cancer is the result of cells in your bladder starting to mutate (become defective). However, what causes your cells to do this in your bladder is not known. There are several carcinogens that have been identified as possible causes of bladder cancer.

A carcinogen is any substance, radiation or radionuclide (an atom with an unstable nucleus) that is an agent directly involved with causing cancer. Carcinogens that are possible causes of bladder cancer include smoking, chemical exposures at work and aristolochia fangchi (herb used in Chinese herbal remedies and dietary supplements).

Bladder cancer is the 4th most common type of cancer in men. Men get bladder cancer nearly 3 times more often than women do.

Bladder cancer produces signs and symptoms that are not specific. This means that the signs and symptoms are the same as those produced by other medical conditions. Your doctor is the one who can determine if bladder cancer is what is causing your signs and symptoms. Signs and symptoms include:

A pelvic mass (a growth in your pelvis that is near your bladder)
Back pain
Blood in your urine (hematuria) that may look cola colored or bright red
Unintentional weight loss
Abdominal pain
Swelling that takes place in your lower legs
A change in your bladder habits, such as having to urinate more often or feeling a strong urge to urinate when only have a small amount of urine
Urinary tract infection
Pain or burning when you urinate without any sign of having a urinary tract infection.

Bladder cancer is on the list of impairments of the Social Security Administration. This means that you should be approved for Social Security disability benefits if you have bladder cancer.

However, the key to getting Social Security disability benefits for bladder cancer is providing the Social Security Administration with the right medical evidence to establish the fact that you are disabled with this disease.

This is not always as simple as it may sound. You may need to have a disability attorney on your side to guide you through the application process.

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