Urinary bladder cancer is seen in 2 to 3 percent of the population in United States. The symptoms of bladder cancer include frequent but scant urination, pain and/or burning during urination, blood clots and frequent UTI. Pain or burning during urination and scant yet frequent urination are also the symptoms of UTI which gives an impression that UTI could be one of the causes of bladder cancer. There are several causes for bladder cancer like exposure to specific chemicals, smoking, excess alcohol consumption, genetic predisposition, ethnicity, age and also frequent Urinary Tract Infections. Out of the two types of bladder cancer that affect American population, one is caused by frequent UTI. Below is a list of tips to prevent UTI.
Tips to prevent UTI
- Avoid smoking and consumption of excess alcohol. Excess caffeine that comes from frequent consumption of coffee or tea can also increase the risk of infection as it has a dehydrating effect on the system.
- Women and young girls must wipe from the urethra towards anus and not in the opposite direction to prevent intestinal bacteria entering the urinary tract thus causing UTI.
- Avoid reusing underwear without washing.
- Whether you are a man or a woman, avoid tight garments. Women must avoid thongs and other tight fitting garments made from synthetic materials.
- Try to stay hydrated. For every 45 pounds of body weight, drink 1 liter of water. Take care to not drink excess or you might risk sodium and magnesium deficiency.
- Drink cranberry juice instead of wine with lunch and dinner. While cranberry juice may not cure an existing UTI, the chemical composition of cranberries helps fight bacteria from further breeding. This will keep any infection in check and is also a great tip to prevent UTI.
- Use disposable toilet seat covers when using public facilities.
- Eat healthy and fresh food like vegetables, fruits and salads instead of fried snacks and drink fruit juice in place of carbonated and caffeinated beverages. This is not only one of the most effective tips to prevent UTI but also promotes overall health and wellbeing.
- Take plenty of vitamin C in the form of fresh cucumber, citrus fruits, broccoli, and supplements.
- Make sure your digestive system is healthy. Most important cause of UTI in women is the intestinal bacteria finding their way to the urethra and into the urinary tract.
- Sip ginger or green tea instead of sodas and sugary beverages. Sugar can increase your risk of infections as it feeds the bacteria.
- If you are already fighting a UTI, empty your bladder frequently to prevent bacteria from breeding inside. Drink plenty of water and unsweetened cranberry juice to flush out the infection causing bacteria.
- You can alleviate pain and inflammation by using a heating pad. Use a heating pad over clothing and never directly on the affected area.
- Consult a doctor if you don’t see relief from symptoms within 3 days. It could be a viral infection or bladder cancer. It is better to get it checked out early on.
- Do not use harsh soap or cleanser over the urethral opening. It will only irritate your urinary tract and make it more susceptible to infection and or cancer. A certain form of cancer is caused by frequently irritating the bladder. Although this form of bladder cancer is not prevalent in the United States, there are still a small percentage of cancer victims suffering from this form of cancer.
- For the health of both partners during intercourse, use lubricated condoms instead of spermicides and diaphragms. Spermicides and diaphragms not only provide avenues for dangerous bacteria to breed, they also facilitate transmission of diseases sexually.
- Do not have intercourse when menstruating. Menstruation is not only a stressful time for a woman; the presence of foreign objects in the vagina might trigger infections within the woman’s body including UTI as well as in the participating man.
- Drink plenty of water and empty your bladder before and after exercise.
- Never hold urine inside even when you have never had a UTI in the past.
- Some medication can cause UTI. If you recently started a new medicine and have pain or discomfort during urination, consult your doctor.
Although UTI is more common in women than in men, bladder cancer affects both men and women equally. Most important cause is frequently breeding bacteria. So, of all the tips to prevent UTI, the most important one perhaps is to empty your bladder every 3 to 4 hours to prevent breeding. Follow these tips and minimize your risk of both: bladder infection as well as cancer.