Health Desk- About 10 percent of bladder cancer cases are caused by chemical exposure. There may be a history of radiation or chemotherapy use around the bladder. Bladder stones, or arsenic exposure are one of the causes. Talking about the symptoms of bladder cancer, blood in the urine is the most common.
Bladder cancer is a common type of cancer that begins in the cells of the bladder. The bladder is a hollow muscular organ in your lower abdomen that stores urine.
Bladder cancer often starts in the cells (urothelial cells) that line the inside of your bladder. Urothelial cells are also found in your kidneys and in the tubes (ureters) that connect the kidneys to the bladder. Urothelial cancer can also occur in the kidney and ureter, but it is much more common in the bladder.
Most bladder cancers are diagnosed at an early stage, when the cancer is highly curable. But even early-stage bladder cancer can come back after successful treatment. For this reason, people with bladder cancer usually need follow-up tests years after treatment to look for recurrence of bladder cancer.
Symptoms of bladder cancer-
Signs and symptoms of bladder cancer may include:
- Blood in the urine (hematuria), which can cause urine to appear bright red or cola-colored, although sometimes the urine appears normal and lab tests reveal blood
- Unbearable pain in pelvis.
- Experiencing pain before, during or after passing urine.
- Blood in the urine (light or heavy).
- Severe back pain.
- Frequent urination
- Lumps can also occur in the breast of women.
- Excessive bleeding during periods in women is also a major symptom.
When to see the doctor?
If you notice that you have discolored urine and are concerned that it may contain blood, contact your doctor to have it checked. Make an appointment with your doctor if you have other signs or symptoms that worry you.
Causes of bladder cancer-
- Tumor on the bladder wall.
- Bladder cancer begins when cells in the bladder develop changes (mutations) to their DNA. A cell’s DNA contains instructions that tell the cell what to do. The changes tell the cell to multiply rapidly and survive when healthy cells die. The abnormal cells form a tumor that can invade and destroy normal body tissue. Over time, abnormal cells can break off and spread (metastasize) throughout the body.
Types of bladder cancer-
Different types of cells can become cancer in your bladder. The type of bladder cell where the cancer begins determines the type of bladder cancer. Doctors use this information to determine which treatments may work best for you.
Types of bladder cancer include-
Urothelial carcinoma, previously called transitional cell carcinoma, occurs in the cells that line the inside of the bladder. Urothelial cells expand when your bladder is full and contract when your bladder is empty. These same cells line the inside of the ureters and urethra, and cancer can form in those places as well. Urothelial carcinoma is the most common type of bladder cancer in the United States.
2.Squamous cell carcinoma –
Squamous cell carcinoma is associated with chronic irritation of the bladder – for example, from infection or from long-term use of a urinary catheter. Squamous cell bladder cancer is rare in the United States. It is more common in parts of the world where a certain parasitic infection (schistosomiasis) is a common cause of bladder infections.
Adenocarcinoma begins in the cells that make up the mucus-secreting glands in the bladder. Adenocarcinoma of the bladder is very rare.
Some bladder cancers involve more than one type of cell.
Factors that increase the risk of bladder cancer include:
Smoking cigarettes, cigars or pipes can increase the risk of bladder cancer, which causes harmful chemicals to accumulate in the urine. When you smoke, your body processes the chemicals in the smoke and excretes some of them in your urine. These harmful chemicals can damage the lining of your bladder, which can increase your risk of cancer.
2. Increasing age-
The risk of bladder cancer increases with increasing age. Although it can occur at any age, most people diagnosed with bladder cancer are over the age of 55.
3. Being male-
Men are more likely to get bladder cancer than women.
4. Exposure to certain chemicals –
Your kidneys play an important role in filtering harmful chemicals from your bloodstream and carrying them to your bladder. Because of this, it is believed that being around certain chemicals may increase the risk of bladder cancer. Chemicals linked to bladder cancer risk include arsenic and chemicals used in the manufacture of dye, rubber, leather, textile and paint products.
5. Previous cancer treatment –
treatment with the anti-cancer drug cyclophosphamide increases the risk of bladder cancer. People who have received targeted radiation treatment at the pelvis for previous cancer have a higher risk of developing bladder cancer.
6. Chronic bladder inflammation –
Chronic or repeated urinary infections or inflammation (cystitis), such as may occur with prolonged use of urinary catheters, may increase the risk of squamous cell bladder cancer. In some areas of the world, squamous cell carcinoma is associated with chronic bladder inflammation caused by a parasitic infection called schistosomiasis.
7. Personal or family history of cancer –
If you have had bladder cancer, you are more likely to get it again. If you have a blood relative – a parent, sibling or child – with a history of bladder cancer, you may have an increased risk of the disease, although bladder cancer running in families is rare. A family history of Lynch syndrome, also known as hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC), may increase your risk of cancer in the urinary system as well as the colon, uterus, ovaries, and other organs.
Although there is no guaranteed way to prevent bladder cancer, you can take steps to help reduce your risk. For example:
1. Don’t smoke-
If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you smoke, talk with your doctor about a plan to help you stop. Support groups, medications, and other methods can help you quit.
2. Take precautions around chemicals-
If you work with chemicals, follow all safety instructions to avoid exposure.
3. Choose a variety of fruits and vegetables-
Choose a diet rich in a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables. The antioxidants present in fruits and vegetables may help reduce your risk of cancer.
Tips to prevent bladder cancer-
- Drink at least 8-9 glasses of water throughout the day and take maximum liquid diet.
- Keep distance from smoking and alcohol as much as possible.
- If you work in a place where there are chemicals, avoid coming in contact with them. For this you can wear a mask.
- Include more and more healthy things like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dry fruits, juices, soups etc. in the diet. Apart from this, keep the eating habits correct.
- Do exercise for at least 30 minutes daily, especially walk for 10-15 minutes after meals.
Bladder cancer treatment-
Most of the treatment for bladder cancer is to make sure that the cancer does not spread to other parts of the body. If the cancer has spread to other places then we have to start the treatment based on its staging. Bladder cancer is classified in two ways, non muscle invasive bladder cancer and muscle invasive bladder cancer. If we talk about non muscle invasive bladder cancer, then endoscopy resection is done inside the bladder. which we call TUR BD. After that medicine is put in the bladder and cystoscopy is done every three months. Muscle invasive bladder cancer is very fatal. In this process, the bladder has to be removed with the help of surgery. Chemotherapy can be done before or after radical cystectomy. After this a way is made to take out the urine. Along with this, chemotherapy and radiation therapy are also used in this. The use of robotic surgery is also increasing in its treatment.
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