What Is Bladder Cancer?
Diseases Cancer

What Is Bladder Cancer?

Published at 02/20/2012 03:23:00

Urinary bladder: Overview

What Is Bladder Cancer?

The urinary bladder plays a vital role in the human body and its functions. The bladder is a muscular sac in the pelvis where fluid or urine from the kidneys is stored. During urination the bladder muscles contract and the two valves also known as ureters open to allow the urine to flow out.

The urinary bladder is also prone to diseases and disorders. One of these is called bladder cancer.


What is Bladder Cancer?

What Is Bladder Cancer?

A disease that refers to several types of malignant growths in the urinary bladder is called bladder cancer. It is a tumor in the bladder that is typically discovered after noticeable blood in the urine. This type of urinary bladder disease is one of the most common cancers worldwide. Statistics show that this type of disease is more common in men than in women. This type of cancer is prevalent in people 50-70 years old.

Causes and Symptoms

What Is Bladder Cancer?

The exact cause of bladder cancer is still unknown; however most of the patients who suffered this type of disease used to be smokers. Smokers are twice as likely to acquire the disease as non-smokers, hence, smoking is considered as the greatest factor for bladder cancer.

It is also believed that exposure to hydrocarbons and petroleum based chemicals increase the risk of acquiring bladder cancer.

The most common symptoms of bladder cancer is blood in the urine, one of the first warning signals of bladder cancer. Another is pain in urinating without evidence of a urinary tract infection; change in urinating habits; such as, the strong urge to urine without producing much output

All of these symptoms may also be caused by conditions other than cancer, so it is very important to seek a doctor’s opinion.

Diagnosis and Treatment

When your physician has any reason to suspect you to have bladder cancer, he or she may conduct several tests to see if the disease is indeed present.

The standard for diagnosing bladder cancer is a biopsy attained during cystoscopy. Most patients with signs and symptoms suspicious for this type of cancer are referred to an urologist. Another test to help with the diagnosis is an intravenous pyelogram (IVP). This is an x-ray exam that is performed after a dye is inserted into the blood stream through one of the veins in the arm. The dye clearly outlines the ureters, bladder, and urethra and it helps in detecting any abnormalities in the lining of these organs.

Treatment for bladder cancer really depends on the stage of the tumor. To administer an appropriate treatment, the patient’s overall health status, medical history and personal choices or preferences are taken into consideration.

Immunotherapy in the form of BCG instillation is used to treat and prevent the tumors. There are also three standard modes of treatment available for bladder cancer such as:

1.) Surgery, this is considered an option when the tumor is in its early stage.

2.) Radiation Therapy

3.) Chemotherapy

The following steps are suggested to prevent bladder cancer and help reduce the risk of acquiring the disease:

• You must quit using tobacco products. Speak to your physician about ways of how to effectively quit this bad habit.

• If you are not a smoker, don’t start smoking. Once this bad habit has been started, it is very difficult to quit.

• Take caution with chemicals. Follow all safety instructions to avoid exposure as this may lead to higher cancer risks.


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