is a cancer that begins in your urinary bladder, a
balloon-shaped organ that stores urine. It can occur at any age; however, older
adults are typically affected. The
is highly treatable if diagnosed early and fortunately this is often possible.
Majority of bladder cancers are detectable at an early stage.
cancer is associated with a very high recurrence rate. Even those cancers that
are detected and treated at an early stage can recur. Hence, bladder cancer
survivors have to undergo follow-up tests for long even after completion of
symptoms of bladder cancer include: blood in urine (hematuria
, painful urination, back pain and pelvic pain. Experts are
yet to find a definitive cause for bladder cancer. Smoking, infection with
parasites, radiation, and exposure to chemicals are all factors that place
people at risk of developing bladder cancer.
commonest type of bladder cancer, transitional cell carcinoma, arises in the
cells that line the urinary bladder. Bladder cancer is diagnosed through a
number of tests that include imaging techniques like cystoscopy
, microscopic examination
of urine samples, and tissue studies. CT scan, MRI
and bone scans may be used to identify if the cancer has spread. There are four
stages in the cancer.
modalities of the cancer include surgery, biological therapy that modulates the
immune system, chemotherapy and infrequently radiation
. Despite early diagnosis and treatment, nearly half of the
patients experience tumour recurrences. It is difficult to predict who are at
A team of researchers lead by Angeline Andrew, PhD, of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire analyzed the genes of 563 patients. They looked for genetic variants that influenced the time to bladder cancer recurrence and patient survival. They found that patients with variants in the aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) gene and the vascular cellular adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM1) gene were likely to get a cancer recurrence shortly after treatment. The ALDH2 gene encodes an enzyme involved in alcohol metabolism and VCAM1 is involved the development of lymphoid tissues. It was also observed that patients with non-invasive tumors and a variant in the DNA repair gene
XRCC4 had a longer life span than ones without the variant. An extensive investigation into the new revelations can revolutionize the approach to bladder cancer. It would be possible to customize treatment and follow-up plans based on individual variations. References :
Wiley Press Release