Bladder is an organ in our body that stores urine and it is situated in our lower abdomen. Bladder cancer occur in urothelial cells in bladder. This cancer is more common in men than women and it usually occur in adults. Same type of cancer can happen in other parts of urinary system.
Type of bladder cancer depends on the type of cells that be becomes cancerous. Treatment of bladder cancer depend on type of cancer.
Some common types are:
- Urothelial carcinoma:
Previous name of urothelial carcinoma was transitional cell carcinoma. This type of cancer occurs in cells inside bladder that line it. These urothelial cells in bladder expand when your bladder is filled with urine and contract while it is empty. As these cells also line the inside or urethra and uterus, so infection can also spread in these areas too.
- Squamous cell carcinoma:
In this type you feel long term irritation in bladder it could be due to use of urinary catheter or may be some kind of infection. It is a rare type of cancer it is only common in areas where parasitic infections are common.
This type of cancer occurs in cells of the bladder which build up mucus-secreting glands. Like squamous cell carcinoma, it is also very rare.
Symptoms of bladder cancer include:
- Feel pain while urinating
- Blood in urine
- Pelvic pain
- Back pain
- Excessive urination frequently
If you experience hematuria that is blood coming in urine then your urine will look fresh red color or sometime blackish. There are also chances that there is no change in color but blood can be detected through study under microscope.
There are different cells in your bladder if these cells start growing unusually or become cancerous, it can cause bladder cancer. Mutations are produced by these cells so they grow uncontrollably and forms tumor. Causes of bladder cancer include:
- Use of tobacco or smoking
- Had any radiation therapy
- Working in a place where revelation of chemicals, gases or fumes.
- Long lasting irritation or pain in bladder
- Parasitic infection
There are number of tests and procedures that are followed to diagnose bladder cancer such as:
- Cystoscopy :
A narrow and small tube is inserted in your urethra. This tube act like a camera and has a lens through which doctors examine your disease.
Along with watching your tumor by cystoscopy, doctors also insert a scope to take a sample for testing it is called biopsy.
- Urine cytology:
A sample of your urine is taken and tested under microscope:
- Imaging testing :
These tests involves computerized tomography (CT) urogram, retrograde pyelogram and X-ray.
Things that can increase chances of bladder cancer are:
- If you have a habit of smoking
- As your age increase chances of this cancer also increase. It is rare in people under 40 years.
- People who are white has a great risk of bladder cancer. That is why it is more common in the United States.
- Chances of this cancer are high for male gender.
- Exposure to certain chemicals is a huge factor causing bladder cancer as your kidneys filter the air from your air and sent them in bladder.
- If you had a cancer before and cured by a treatment then anti-cancer drugs can trigger the bladder cancer.
- Having a family history of bladder cancer can also cause it.
Type, grade and stage of the cancer are the factors that are considered before treatment. Treatments for bladder cancer are:
- Doctors can perform surgery to remove cancerous tissues.
- Doctors can prescribe chemotherapy to treat tumors.
- While bladder is removed, a new way for urine exit is created that is called reconstruction.
- In primary condition when surgery can’t be done or if your bladder is removed then chemotherapy for a whole body is prescribed by doctors.
- Cancer cells are destroyed by radiations this process is called radiation therapy.
- Immunotherapy is another way in which your immune system is triggered so it can fight against tumor cells.
After bladder cancer treatment
Even if your cancer is cured there are chances in which it can reoccur, that is why cancer patients need frequent testing for a long time. What kind of tests and for how long they are needed depends on a type of cancer you had and what kind of treatment you took.