What is Bladder Cancer?
Bladder cancer is characterised by abnormal growth of cells resulting in the formation of a tumor, in the bladder. The cancer usually begins urothelial cells that line the inside of the bladder growing abnormally.
Bladder cancer can spread to tissue around it. In extreme cases, it can spread to distant parts of the body. However, instances of bladder cancer are rare.
Bladder cancer is highly treatable when it is in the early stage. But, the chances that it recurs are high. So, patients diagnosed with bladder cancer once should check for it every year, after the treatment.
What causes Bladder Cancer?
Genetic makeup and family history of bladder cancer, along with habits like tobacco smoking and consumption of fried meat and animal fats, raise the risk of getting bladder cancer. Exposure to chemicals, certain medications, radiation exposure, urachal adenocarcinoma and chronic bladder inflammation can also lead to this condition.
What are the symptoms of Bladder Cancer?
Some of the symptoms of bladder cancer are:
- Pain or burning during urination
- Need to urinate frequently
- Persistent urge to urinate
- Weak urine stream
- Pelvic pain
- Back pain
- Swollen feet
How is Bladder Cancer diagnosed?
Diagnostic procedure of bladder cancer includes:
A pelvic exam or a digital rectal exam will relieve the presence and size of the tumor if any.
Urinalysis, Urine cytology, urine culture and urine tumor marker tests will provide further information on the condition. Image tests, cytoscopy, and finally a biopsy, are run to ascertain the presence of the tumor and its cancerous nature.
What are the treatments for Bladder Cancer?
The treatment of bladder cancer is based on the stage and grade of the cancer. For lower grade and stage tumors, intravesical therapies (treatments placed directly into the bladder) are recommended. For advanced conditions, a surgery could be performed to remove the tumor or radiation or chemotherapy id administered to kill the cancerous cells.
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