Overview Of The Disease
The bladder is a hollow organ located in the abdomen shaped like a balloon, with a flexible muscle wall. Almost all bladder cancers originate in the surface of the bladder wall. Statistics show that bladder cancer affects three times more men than women. In 80 percent of cases are diagnosed in people aged over 60 years in more than 50 percent in people aged 70 and older.
Almost generally, cancer of the bladder can manifest in various forms, very different from each other, but the superficial form is the most common, accounting for 80 percent of bladder cancers. It is more or less limited to the mucosa of the bladder and less severe. However, if left untreated, cancer can also invade the musculature of the bladder wall (invasive type). Besides, superficial bladder tumors may recur and affect other organs.
Like most cancers, the risk of bladder cancer is very high among smokers. The kidneys and the bladder eliminate the toxic substances of tobacco. Some of those harmful substances can remain in the bladder, leading to the development of a malignant tumor. Certain pain killers contain phenacetin, which is also suspected in the development of bladder cancer. In addition, individuals who are constantly exposed – during their work some – and inhale certain chemicals also run a high risk of contracting cancer of the bladder. This risk is even higher if you suffer from stress or depression.
Treatment of bladder cancer depends on the characteristics of the tumor. Superficial cancers that do not exceed the bladder’s lining can be electrically usually destroyed during endoscopic resection. In case of recurrence of a superficial tumor, it is possible to use intravesical instillation, direct application in the bladder of anti-tumor agents designed to act on the bladder’s walls. The application is made by a thin catheter inserted into the urethra using a catheter. As for invasive tumors that penetrate deeply into the bladder’s muscular wall or superficial tumors that rapidly grow, the treatment is cystectomy, surgical removal of the bladder.
Bladder Cancer Symptoms
Recognizing bladder cancer symptoms are vital these days for the modern man. It is the presence of blood in the urine (hematuria) that is the first indication normally. It is common for women, and they usually tend to ignore it. One may see bladder cancer symptoms in men in a similar fashion. However, for men, the blood is an indication of the disease.
When the disease occurs, there is a rapid profusion of abnormal cells in the bladder tissue. There are many forms of this profusion, and each is referred to by a separate name.
Physiology of the Disease
The most commonly recognized symptoms of bladder carcinoma are pain and fatigue.
All the cancer of the bladder symptoms predominantly manifests within a short time itself.
Though there is no clear link, the leading cause is attributed to smoking. Exposure to chemicals or radiation could also be a reason.
Symptoms of bladder cancer
Here are the most known bladder cancer symptoms:
- Blood in the urine
- Pain during urination
- Frequent urination
- Abdominal pain
The presence of blood or blood clots in the urine is a good indication of the illness. Some of the patients may experience pain or have troubling passing urine. If the tumor has metastasized and grown outside the bladder, it will cause pain when pressing against the other organs. Frequently there will fever, and the patient will be weak because of blood loss.
Tests and Diagnosis
Primarily these tests are conducted:
- Urine cytology
- Imaging tests
Examination of the urine under a microscope would reveal the presence of cancerous cells. If the physician is uncertain, he will order cystoscopy or imaging tests. The imaging is done through the use of computerized tomography techniques. First, a dye is introduced into the body. This will spread to all the organs, and these organs will become visible to the X-Rays. This method is useful to detect the presence of tumors and to determine the extent of metastasis. If the growth is not too much, the physician will be able to remedy it at once.
Radiation, Chemotherapy, Medication, and Surgery are the most prevalent methods of treatment. When the disease is invasive, a combined treatment of chemotherapy and radiation treatment is given. A TUR (transurethral resection) helps to cauterize the superficial tumors using an electrical current. Then immunotherapy (BCG instillation) is applied to prevent a recurrence.
Staging of the disease is done according to the spread. The Primary Tumor (T) is classified in amount of growth from least (TX) to most (T4B). The spread to Lymph Nodes (N) is categorized from least (NX) to maximum (N3). Distant Metastasis (M) is similarly identified as nothing tangible (MX) to distant metastasis (M1).
A doctor may prescribe you Adriamycin, Cisplatin and Doxorubicin Hydrochloride to treat this illness.
Spreading awareness about bladder cancer symptoms
The recurrence is around 38% to 70%. ‘Quick to begin treatment’ is the sure-fire way to recover completely.
The signs and symptoms of bladder cancer in women are not so different either. However, the incidence is notably lesser due to physiology.
When one is familiar with bladder cancer symptoms in men, you will know what you should be looking out for. Keeping information out in the open helps one to overcome a fear of this illness.
Gall bladder cancer symptoms: Predominating signs are the onset of jaundice, pain, and fever. When the symptoms present are only superficial (such as presence in the mucosa), the patient will be cured without any additional treatment. If there are signs of the disease present (T2 or more), the tumor may have to be operated on.
Never disregard pain since it is the best indication of disease. Also, be careful when you are feeling tired without any reason for prolonged periods. Another indication could be the urge to urinate frequently.
People who are at risk
This disease is not linked hereditarily, nor does it have any specific link to malformed organs. It does not ‘spread’, not contagious, so there is no particular group of identifiable people as prone to the illness. However, smokers are at significant risk since the link to tobacco is more or less well established.
The bladder is highly responsive to extract of detoxification enzymes. Consumption of fruit and vegetables, especially those such as broccoli and yellow-orange fruits containing selenium, moderately reduced this illness’s risks.
Bladder Cancer Prognosis
Identifying what the bladder cancer symptoms are is most important. If the metastasis has not occurred, there is a good chance of full recovery. After the treatment is over, make an appointment for follow up since there is a very good chance of recurrence.
Bladder Cancer Treatment Options
Bladder cancer treatment varies based upon the stage of the cancer and the patient’s wishes. Typically, medical treatments, surgery and even holistic treatments are among the most commonly pursued.
Chemotherapy is a treatment option in which physicians prescribe very specific drugs to stop cancer cells’ growth. While this option is very effective, many patients are not well tolerated and have serious side effects such as nausea, vomiting, and fatigue. Patients can take chemotherapy orally in pill or liquid form. There is also an option of an injection directly into muscles or the bloodstream. Patients often visit chemotherapy clinics for an IV dose of chemotherapy drugs in a setting with other cancer patients. It is known to be therapeutic on its own because it provides peer support and medical monitoring.
Radiation therapy is a process by which x-rays or other high-energy radiation types kill existing cancer cells within the body. This therapy is highly effective in some cases, particularly when the cancer is localized to one part of the body. External radiation uses a machine that concentrates radiation to a particular part of the body through the skin. Internal radiation uses needles on the inside of the body to deliver high doses of x-rays to the cancerous cells’ exact location. It is particularly effective after surgeries to remove masses from the body, and it is also safer than traditional external radiation therapy.
Several types of surgery are performed on patients with bladder cancer to reduce the size of tumors or perhaps even remove them completely. A radical cystectomy is another process that may help treat cancer, and it involves removing the bladder and any lymph nodes or tissues surrounding it. In late-stage cancer, this may only be done to provide relief from symptoms. The surgeon will create another way for urine to leave the body, such as internal catheterization or the ‘creation’ of a bladder within the abdominal wall.
Immunotherapy and Photodynamic Therapy
Immunotherapy is a process by which the patient’s immune system is used to create cancer-fighting medicines. Substances found naturally within the body are removed and boosted within a laboratory, then injected into the bloodstream or even into the cancer site. It is also known as biotherapy or biologic therapy. Photodynamic therapy involves using concentrated laser beams and a specific medication designed to kill cancer cells to reduce the size of tumors. This process is much better for healthy tissues than standard radiation and is commonly used more and more.
Patients with bladder cancer have several options available to them for treatment, but an oncologist should provide the treatment that will work best for them. Patients are welcome to use lifestyle changes, specialized nutrition, meditation, and other therapy forms alongside these as long as they get their doctors’ approval.