Bladder Cancer - Symptoms And Treatment
- Its cause has not been identified; However, there are risk factors that may increase the likelihood of infection.
- Smoking is the most common risk factor for developing bladder cancer.
- Its symptoms are similar to those of other urinary tract diseases; Therefore, you should consult a doctor to confirm the diagnosis.
- See a doctor immediately if blood appears in the urine, even if it appears intermittently.
- There is no sure way to prevent it; But it is possible to reduce the risk of infection by avoiding risk factors.
It is a common term for tumors that affect the body's organs, and they are of two types: benign tumors, and malignant tumors (which are known as cancerous tumors), and they are distinguished by examining tissues (sampling).
It is a hollow and expandable muscular organ located in the pelvis (lower part of the abdomen), and its function is to collect urine produced by the kidneys until a person is ready to expel it.
Bladder Cancer Definition:
Most types of cancer are named for where they form, so when a tumor appears in the bladder, it is called bladder cancer. Most types of bladder cancer begin to appear in the inner layer, and the situation worsens as the tumor increases in size and invades the rest of the layers, and over time it may grow outside the bladder to reach the lymph nodes and other organs (such as: bones, lungs, liver, and others).
Bladder Cancer Types:
- The most common type is urothelial carcinoma (formerly called transitional cell carcinoma): This type begins in the inner cells lining the bladder and can spread to other parts of the urinary system.
- Other less common types: squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, and others.
- Non-invasive/invasive cancer: one that remains in the innermost layer of the bladder and does not reach the other layers.
- Invasive cancer: It penetrates the other layers of the bladder wall, can spread and is difficult to treat.
- Papilloma: It is the one that grows in a cylindrical shape starting from the inner layer of the bladder towards the inside, that is, it goes into the bladder, and this type is called: non-invasive papilloma.
- Flat cancer (in situ cancer): is one that grows only on the wall of the bladder.
The true cause of bladder cancer has not been identified; But there are some factors that increase the risk of infection.
- Smoking: It is the most common risk factor that increases the risk of developing bladder cancer.
- family history
- Exposure to radiation directed directly to the pelvis.
- Radiation therapy used to treat another type of cancer that has formed in an area near the bladder (such as the colon).
- Use of a certain type of chemotherapy to treat another type of cancer.
- Exposure to pollutants in the workplace (such as: chemicals used in the manufacture of: plastics, dyes, rubber and others).
- Frequent and chronic irritation of the urinary system (such as: urinary tract infections, kidney and bladder stones, prolonged urinary catheterization, etc.).
- Some types of parasitic infections.
It can affect people of any age; But the possibility of infection increases with age.
The most common symptom is blood in the urine, which is usually not accompanied by pain and the blood may not be clear.
- frequent urination.
- Pain during urination.
- Pain in the lower part of the abdomen.
- Back ache.
- Sudden urgency to urinate.
- inability to urinate
- Loss of appetite and weight.
- feeling tired
- swollen feet
- Pain in the bones.
When should you go to the doctor?:
When blood appears in the urine (even if it is intermittent), as well as when other symptoms of concern appear.
- Psychological effects: It may increase the risk of depression.
- Urinary tract infection.
- Urinary retention.
- nephrogenic hypertrophy;
- The tumor comes back.
- Sexual problems: erectile dysfunction, vaginal tightness.
- Complications that may appear after surgery (such as: inflammation of the surgical site).
- Medical history.
- Clinical examination.
- Laboratory tests: where a urine analysis is done to look for the presence of other causes of symptoms.
- Bladder biopsy.
- Other tests: CT scan, MRI, bone scan, chest x-ray.
- Periodic examination should be done after recovery from bladder cancer; Because the tumor may reappear.
There are multiple means of treatment, and choosing the appropriate treatment for the patient depends mainly on the type of bladder cancer, its size, the stage it has reached, and the person’s health in general, and it includes:
- Surgery, including: removal of the tumor or removal of all or part of the bladder.
- Surgery to create a urinary tract after cystectomy.
- Radiation therapy.
- Palliative care.
There is no sure way to prevent bladder cancer; But you can reduce the risk of infection by:
- Avoid smoking, or quit if the person is a smoker.
- Be careful when handling chemicals in the workplace, and take care to follow safety guidelines.
- Make sure to eat a healthy diet rich in a variety of fruits and vegetables.
- Make sure to drink enough fluids (especially water).