Bladder Cancer – Symptoms - Signs - Diagnosis - Treatment - Prognosis - Prevention

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What is Bladder Cancer?

Cancer of the urinary bladder may have no early symptoms and signs but smoking is a risk factor. Once the diagnosis is established, right treatment can be administered.

Bladder Cancer is a type of cancer that affects the urinary bladder, there maybe no early symptoms and signs but smoking is a risk factor. Once the diagnosis is established the right treatment can be administered.

The most common type of bladder cancer, known as urothelial cell carcinoma or transitional cell carcinoma, affects the cells lining the bladder. If the cancer is superficial, it indicates a good prognosis and the chances of survival is high. If it is invasive, then the survival rate declines.

Bladder Cancer

It is not clear as to what actually causes bladder cancer but smoking is known to be a major risk factor for bladder cancer. Other risks include exposure to chemicals, family history or being a Caucasian male.

The main function of the bladder is to collect and store urine produced by the kidneys. Its muscular walls stretches as the urine fills up. When it reaches its capacity, the bladder wall contracts, while the sphincter muscles in the urethra relaxes and the urine is expelled. This process is known as urination or micturition.

Bladder Tumor Video

Symptoms of cancer of the bladder include hematuria, pain in the lower back region, frequent urge to urinate or pain while urinating.

Like all cancers, it is easy to treat bladder cancer when detected early. Therefore, changes in their bladder habits or the color of urine must be monitored to help detect the cancer at the earliest.

Bladder cancer can be treated through surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and biologic therapy. The rate of recurrence for this cancer is high (50-80%) therefore, there is a lot of ongoing research focused on preventing recurrence.

Bladder cancer–Facts

  • Bladder cancer is most common in industrialized countries.
  • In the USA it is reported to be the fifth most prevalent type of cancer where 67,000 new cases are expected to be detected every year and 13,000 people expecting to die from it.
  • It affects men three times more than it does women. It is the fourth most common cancer seen in men and the ninth common cancer seen in women in the USA.
  • The cancer is detected late in women than in men.
  • Bladder cancer occurs twice as often in Whites than in than in other ethnic groups.
  • Bladder cancer occurs mostly among older individuals although it has been noted to appear among the younger age groups as well. The average age of diagnosis is in the 60s.
  • The cancer has a high rate of recurrence.

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