Cancer that begins in the bladder cells is called bladder cancer. It occurs when the bladder cells divide abnormally to form a cluster of cells. The urinary bladder is the hollow organ at the lower end of the abdomen and helps store urine until it passes out of the body.
Bladder cancer is relatively more common among men. Almost 80% of bladder cancer starts in the inner lining of the bladder. Bladder cancer occurs mainly in older people with an average age of 55 years.
Types of Bladder Cancer
There are three types of bladder cancer:
- Transitional Cell Bladder Cancer: This is the most common type of bladder cancer that develops in the lining of the bladder called the urothelium. As a result, it is also known as urothelial cancer.
- Adenocarcinoma: In this, cancer develops in the mucus-secreting glandular cells of the inner bladder lining. It is a rare type of bladder cancer.
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma: This type of cancer develops in the squamous cells, which are flat in shape and cover the bladder
Symptoms of Bladder Cancer
The signs and symptoms of bladder cancer are:
- Frequent urination
- Painful urination
- Bleeding in the urine
- Pain in the lower back and abdominal area
- Bone pain
- Swelling in the feet
- Weight loss and loss of appetite
- Being unable to urinate
- Urinary incontinence
Causes of Bladder Cancer
Bladder cancer has no known cause. However, many factors increase the chances of bladder cancer, such as:
- Increasing age
- Men are at higher risk of bladder cancer
- Bladder defects from the birth
- History of bladder cancer in the family
- Exposure to certain hazardous chemicals or radiations
- Chronic bladder infection or inflammation
- Previous chemotherapy and radiation treatment for cancer treatment in other areas such as the pelvic area
- Eating a high-fat diet and low liquid consumption
Diagnosis of Bladder Cancer
To consult the best uro-oncologists in Nashik, patients can visit HCG Manavata Cancer Center, where we have advanced diagnostic modalities for the accurate diagnosis of bladder cancer. Bladder cancer can be diagnosed through the following tests:
- Physical Examination: The doctor inserts a gloved finger in the vagina or rectum to check for abnormal lumps.
- Cystoscopy: In this, the doctor inserts a narrow tube through the urethra, which has a camera attached to it to see inside the bladder.
- Biopsy: A small tissue sample of the bladder is taken and examined in the laboratory to check for cancer.
- Urinalysis: During urinalysis, the patient’s urine sample is examined under the microscope for cancerous cells.
- Retrograde or Intravenous Pyelogram: This is an X-ray of the bladder using the contrasting medium dye, highlighting the tumor.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging: Magnetic waves are used to produce a detailed image of the inside of the bladder.
- Ultrasound: Sound waves are used to produce a picture of the urinary tract.
- CT scan: A detailed 3-D image of the bladder is produced using x-rays and computerized technology.
Treatment for Bladder Cancer
HCG Manavata Cancer Center houses advanced treatment modalities to deliver the best bladder cancer treatment for patients in and around Nashik, Maharashtra. The different methods used for the treatment of bladder cancer are:
Surgery: It is the common treatment used and depends on the cancer stage. For early-stage cancer, transurethral resection of the bladder is done in which cancer is trimmed away. When cancer is confined to only one region of the bladder wall, partial cystectomy is done. For most extensive cancer, the doctor performs radical cystectomy in which the complete bladder is removed.
Chemotherapy: During chemotherapy, drugs or chemicals are given that slow down the growth of cancerous cells or kill them. These drugs are absorbed faster by cancerous cells than healthy cells. In most cases, two or more drugs are used in combination during the treatment of bladder cancer. Usually, chemotherapy drugs are given directly into the bladder or intravenously.
Radiation therapy: During radiation therapy, high-energy X-rays or proton beams are used to destroy the cancerous cells. It damages the DNA of the cancer cells and is mainly used in combination with chemotherapy. The radiation therapy is delivered either externally using the machine outside the body, which focuses the beam on the tumor, or internally in which a radioactive pellet is inserted into the bladder.
Immunotherapy: In this, the body’s immune system is prepared to attack the cancerous cells of the bladder. It can be given intravenously or directly into the bladder. An immunotherapy drug allows the person’s immune system to recognize and differentiate the tumor cells from healthy cells and kills them.
Targeted therapy: It focuses on the certain weakness of the cancerous cells and targets them. It kills the cancer cells and is used mainly for advanced-stage cancers.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Does a mass on the bladder always mean cancer?
A lump or mass on the bladder can indicate bladder cancer. However, it could be a benign polyp that can still produce the symptoms of bladder cancer. A benign polyp on the bladder also has a high chance of becoming cancerous in the future.
2. How do bladder cancer symptoms differ in men and women?
Bladder cancer symptoms are the same for both men and women. However, the most common symptom of bladder cancer is the presence of blood in the urine, which is often mistaken for menstruation in women.
3. Who is at risk of developing bladder cancer?
The exact cause of the cancer is still unknown. But many factors increase the chances of bladder cancer, such as smoking, infection, and exposure to certain chemicals or defects in the bladder.
4. Which is the best treatment option for bladder cancer?
Treatment planning for bladder cancer is made based on various factors, such as the position of cancer, stage of cancer, patient’s overall health status, and their personal preferences. For example, surgery is the best option if detected early, and cancer is confined to only one place.
5. What to do if I suspect bladder cancer?
If you suspect bladder cancer, you should seek immediate medical attention. See a doctor, especially a urologist, as soon as possible. Bladder cancer can be treated effectively with a high success rate if detected early.