Bladder Cancer: Symptoms and Treatments

Bladder Cancer: Symptoms and Treatments

What is bladder cancer?

Bladder cancer is formed in bladder cells. Located in the lower abdomen, the bladder is a hollow, balloon-shaped organ whose wall is a flexible muscle. The urine produced by the kidneys is conveyed to this cavity by two ducts called ureters. When the bladder is full, the muscles of the bladder wall contract to expel urine from the body through another duct called urethra.

Almost all bladder cancers originate on the surface of the bladder wall. If it remains localized there, we will talk about superficial cancer of the bladder. If cancer spreads to the muscle itself, it is more like invasive bladder cancer.

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Risk factors of Bladder Cancer

smoking: smokers are 4 to 7 times more likely to have bladder cancer than non-smokers;

occupational exposure to certain chemical agents and carcinogens: persons working in the textile, plastics, dyes and rubber industries,

where they are in prolonged contact with aromatic amines (beta-naphthylamine, benzidine, aniline), are at increased risk;

radiation therapy at the level of the lower abdomen;

chemotherapy with cyclophosphamide;

bilharzia (a tropical disease caused by a parasite);

treatment for a tumor of the ureter or renal pelvis;

a genetic predisposition: there are rare hereditary forms, such as Lynch's syndrome;

chronic irritations of the bladder (due to bladder stones);

Repeated infections

To make a diagnosis, the doctor may use the following tests.

Cystoscopy: A thin tube with a light at its end (cystoscopy) allows to examine inside the bladder. The cystoscopy is inserted by the urethra so that the doctor can see the wall of the bladder and urethra. In some cases, the device is equipped with a camera to capture images.

This intervention usually takes place under mild anesthesia; if we proceed at the same time for a biopsy, the procedure will be done under general anesthesia (you will be asleep).

Biopsy: A biopsy may be required to establish with certainty a diagnosis of cancer.This intervention consists of taking cells of the body in order to examine them at microscope. If the cells are cancerous, it will then be necessary to determine their speed at multiply. There are many types of biopsies. Biopsy is usually done during a cystoscopy.

Imaging Techniques: These Techniques allow the health care team to proceed to a closer examination of the tissues, organs and bones. Using radiography, ultrasound, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging [MRI].

Bone scintigraphy, it is possible to measure the size of the tumor and see if it has spread. These tests are usually pain free and do not require anesthesia.

You could also have a special x-ray called intravenous urography. First, a particular dye is injected into a vein (usually in one arm); the dye then infiltrates into the blood, reaches the kidneys and then passes into the urinary system. By following the path of the dye on an X-ray screen, the doctor may notice any problems with the kidneys, ureters or bladder.

Urine tests: Urine samples are analyzed to check for traces of blood, cancer cells and other signs of the disease.

Blood tests: From samples of your blood, we check the quantity and appearance of different types of blood cells. The test results show how well your kidneys and other organs function normally. You can also check your red blood cells so to see if you have anemia (low red blood cell count). Blood loss caused by a bladder tumor can cause anemia.

Additional tests: Your doctor may want to test you to see if the cancer has spread and to plan your treatment better.

Bladder Cancer

Please if you have any questions about Bladder cancer, you can ask us by commenting below this text, we'll answer you as soon as possible.

What are the symptoms of bladder cancer?

Bladder cancer has been asymptomatic for a long time. Some symptoms may, however, attract attention and you should consult your doctor to determine the cause:

blood in the urine (hematuria);

the need to go to urinate often, or to urinate in small amounts (pollakiuria);

a burning sensation in the area of the bladder;

recurrent urinary tract infections in elderly or menopausal women

pains in the flank or pelvis for no apparent reason.......

Diagnosis of bladder cancer

Three examinations are the basis of the diagnostic report:

an ultrasound of the urinary system, therefore of the bladder, both kidneys and ureters;

an examination of the urine for cancer cells;

a cystoscopy, an examination during which a small tube is inserted through the urethra to see inside the bladder and perform biopsies if necessary;

The pathological examination confirms the presence of cancer cells on the tissue taken.

Treatments of Bladder Cancer

The treatment depends on certain factors: the type of tumor, the stage of cancer, the location of the tumor. Several types can be proposed: surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy or immunotherapy.

If the cancer is limited to the mucosa, that is to say to the first layer of the wall of the bladder, the surgical procedure carried out for the diagnosis is also the first treatment.

If the diagnosis shows that the tumor has infiltrated into the muscle, it is essential to completely remove the bladder to prevent cancer from spreading to nearby organs or form distant metastases: this is what 'a total cystectomy is called. When one has to remove the bladder, the surgeon will either make an artificial way out of the urine (ostomy), or rebuild a new bladder.

Prognosis for Bladder Cancer

It is difficult to answer this question, the chances of survival depend, as is often the case for cancers, the stage of discovery, its type and its grade. At an early stage the chances of recovery are excellent and the treatment is much simpler and uncomplicated.

Living with cancer

People with cancer and their caregivers can rely on various forms of support.

Your health care team: If you need practical help or emotional support, your health care team can recommend services in your community. If necessary, they can also direct you to the resources of an oncology clinic or to mental health professionals.

Your family and friends: The people who are dearest to you can be a great comfort. Accept the support that is offered to you. If someone asks you, "What can I do for you? "Tell him. These can be simple things like shopping, preparing a meal or taking you to the doctor.

Other people who have had an experience similar to yours: It may be beneficial to interact with and learn from others who have "been there".

Consider joining a self-help group or speaking in person, by phone or online, to someone who has survived cancer. Feel free to try different formulas to see which one suits you best.

Bladder Cancer

Please if you have any questions about Bladder cancer, you can ask us by commenting below this text, we'll answer you as soon as possible.

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