Bladder cancer, often referred to as bladder cancer, is the fourth most common type of cancer in the United States. It is important to note that not all bladder cancers occur in the bladder. Bladder cancer can also occur in the kidneys or the colon.
Bladder cancer is a type of cancer that originates in the cells lining of the bladder. The exact cause is unknown, but certain factors are thought to increase the risk. These factors include smoking, exposure to industrial chemicals, and having a family history of the disease.
Symptoms of Bladder Cancer
When bladder cancer is in its early stages, the symptoms are often not severe. However, as the disease progresses, symptoms will become more and more noticeable. Common symptoms of bladder cancer include:
- Blood in the urine
- Painful urination, especially when urinating
- Frequent urination, especially at night
- Painful urination with little urine coming out
- Urgency to urinate
- Pain in the abdomen or back
- Painful urination while performing a bowel movement
- Pain when urinating
- Painful sex
- A lump in the groin area
- A lump in the neck, chest, or armpit
- A feeling of pressure in the abdomen
- A change in the way the bladder is functioning
Diagnosing Bladder Cancer
To diagnose bladder cancer, doctors will ask you about your symptoms and perform a physical examination. They will also ask you about your medical history and family history of cancer. They will also ask you about your lifestyle and diet.
If you are experiencing symptoms of bladder cancer, your doctor will perform a bladder cancer screening. This is a test to help determine if you have any symptoms of bladder cancer.
Imaging tests and urine tests are also used to diagnose bladder cancer. Imaging tests such as a CT or MRI scan of the abdomen and pelvis are used to diagnose the spread of the bladder cancer.
If you have symptoms of bladder cancer, your doctor will likely perform a biopsy. A biopsy involves the removal of a small piece of tissue from the bladder or other areas of the body. This piece of tissue can be sent to a laboratory to be examined under a microscope.
Treatment for Bladder Cancer
Treatment for bladder cancer is based on the stage of the cancer. Bladder cancer is staged based on whether it has spread into the blood or lymph nodes.
The primary treatment for bladder cancer is surgery. This can be performed in conjunction with radiation therapy. Surgery to remove the bladder can be done through a traditional open abdominal surgery or through minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery.
Chemotherapy is also used to treat bladder cancer. Chemotherapy is a systemic treatment. This means that it affects the entire body. It can be given through injections into a vein or through a pill or injection.
In addition, chemotherapy can be used to treat bladder cancer that has spread into other areas of the body.
Bladder Cancer Research
The National Cancer Institute and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have funded many research studies on the causes and prevention of bladder cancer.
In fact, the National Cancer Institute has funded studies on bladder cancer for over 30 years.
In the United States, approximately 45,000 people are diagnosed with bladder cancer each year. Approximately 28,000 people die from the disease.
When to See a Doctor?
It is important to get regular checkups with your doctor if you have bladder cancer. This is especially true if you have any symptoms of the disease.
However, if you have bladder cancer, you should not wait until you have symptoms to see your doctor. This is because the disease is often asymptomatic. As such, the cancer may be found with a simple bladder cancer screening.
You should also see your doctor if you have had a history of smoking, exposure to industrial chemicals, or if you have a family history of bladder cancer.
If you have any of these factors, you should see your doctor immediately.
How Can I Prevent Bladder Cancer?
You can prevent bladder cancer by:
- Quitting smoking
- Not exposing yourself to industrial chemicals
- Avoiding exposure to known bladder cancer-causing chemicals
- Avoiding exposure to radiation
While it is possible to prevent bladder cancer, there is no way to completely escape the risk.
What is a Bladder Cancer Screening?
A bladder cancer screening is a test to determine if you have any symptoms of the disease. The test involves urinating into a sterile container or collecting your urine in a sterile container.
The urine sample will be tested to determine whether any of the cells are cancerous. This is done with a special microscope called a cystoscopy.
Screening is important because it enables early detection of bladder cancer. This can improve the outlook of the disease.
How Is Bladder Cancer Treated?
Treatment of bladder cancer depends on the stage of the cancer.
Stage 0: This is the earliest stage of bladder cancer. Treatment is usually not required.
Stage I: Bladder cancer is staged at this level if the cancer is found in the bladder and if it is confined to the bladder. Treatment is typically recommended if the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes.
Stage II: If the bladder cancer has only spread to the lymph node, treatment is typically recommended. If the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, treatment is typically not recommended.
Stage III: If the bladder cancer has spread to the lymph node or other parts of the body, treatment is typically recommended.
Stage IV: If the bladder cancer has spread to the lymph node or other parts of the body, treatment is not recommended.
What is the Prognosis of Bladder Cancer?
The prognosis of bladder cancer is the likelihood that the cancer will be fatal. It is based on the stage of the cancer as well as the patient’s overall health.
The prognosis of bladder cancer will depend on the following:
- The stage of the cancer
- The patient’s overall health
- The age of the patient
The prognosis of bladder cancer is improving as the number of people diagnosed with the disease has increased.
A quick recap
- There are many different types of bladder cancer.
- Bladder cancer is the fourth most common type of cancer in the United States.
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