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bladder cancer

Bladder Cancer Awareness to Promote Prevention and Cure

Dr. Kapil Kumar
20 Oct 2018
 4.51 Vote(s)
Visits: 10706

Bladder cancer is one of the most common types of cancer. Mostly found in men and is found to usually affect older adults. The symptoms may cause back pain, frequent urination, pelvic pain and blood in urine. Treatments can include surgery, chemotherapy, retrograde pyelogram, biopsy, and urine cytology.

Cancer is known as one of the most deadly diseases with least survival rate. With such high severity, cancer can be found in different parts of body and is classified as Lung Cancer, Breast Cancer, Bladder Cancer, Lymphoma, Prostate Cancer, Melanoma, Basal Cell Cancer, Colon Cancer, and Leukemia. Read ahead to have detailed information about Bladder Cancer.

What is Bladder Cancer?

The growth of abnormal cells in tissues of urinary bladder causes Bladder Cancer. It is commonly found in people between 65 to 85 years of age. About 3.4 million people globally get affected with this disease with around 430,000 new cases recorded per year. Causes can be either environmental factors such as exposure to chemicals and radiation or due to the consumption of tobacco. There are two different ways of developing bladder cancer, which are as follows.

  • Non-Muscle-Invasive Papillary Tumors: The Non-Muscle-Invasive Papillary Tumors have different pathological features and unique molecular characteristics. A tumor majorly affects the sub-epithelial connective tissue, superficial muscle (inner half), deep muscle (outer half), and perivesical tissue (beyond muscular) of the bladder. Further, some areas such as the abdominal wall, prostate, vagina and pelvic wall also get affected. Transurethral Resection of Bladder Tumour (TURBT) is done for the confirmation of this stage and to decide the further treatment.
  • Non-Papillary (Solid) Muscle-Invasive Tumours: In the later stage of bladder cancer, intravesical therapies (BCG) are used as the main treatments. For negative BCG results, additional therapies are brought into use.

Bladder Cancer Symptoms

Bladder cancer can be detected as early as the symptoms are visible in urine. People with bladder cancer may have the following symptoms or signs. However, sometimes, people with bladder cancer do not experience any of these indications or sometimes the cause of a symptom may be a different medical condition and not cancer.

  • Pain in Lower Back: In many cases, bladder cancer starts with the pain in lower back. People face problem while sitting on a chair and unable to be on it for a long duration. 
  • Occurrence of Blood in Urine: The most common symptom is the occurrence of blood in urine. It can be enough to change the color of urine and thus it can turn dark red or show orange and pink shade.
  • Pain or Burning Sensation During Urination: Bladder cancer patients may experience a burning sensation during urination. If this continues to occur and the pain continues to increase, it can be an early sign of bladder cancer. 
  • Frequent Urge to Pee: The frequency of pee increases significantly. Even the urge to pee can be exerted repeatedly, even if the bladder is empty or not completely full.

Again, the above mentioned bladder cancer symptoms does not always specify the disease, as they may also be caused by prostate infections or cystitis overactive bladder which is commonly known as cystitis. Hence, one must visit a doctor to get themselves tested by various diagnostic tests that confirm the presence and exact stage of the condition.

Diagnostic Test for Bladder Cancer

If you ever come across the symptoms of cancer, you should visit the doctor and do some diagnosis tests. These tests determine the exact location of cancer cells, the stage of cancer and the severity of the disease.

  • Cystoscopy: Cystoscopy is the primary test, which is performed to confirm the presence of bladder cancer. In cystoscopy, a small narrow tube (cystoscopy) is inserted through the urethra. The lens of cystoscopy allows examining the inside of the urethra and bladder.
  • Computerized Tomography (CT): This test ensures the doctors to examine the structures of the urinary tract. In CT urogram, a contrast dye is pierced into a vein of the hand and it eventually flows into your kidneys, ureters, and bladder. The X-ray images taken during this test provide a complete view of your urinary tract and enhance treatment.
  • Biopsy: In cystoscopy, your doctor uses a special tool to collect a cell sample (biopsy) to test the bladder. This procedure is reckoned as TURBT (Transurethral Resection of Bladder Tumor). TURBT is one of the highly effective techniques for treating bladder cancer.
  • Retrograde Pyelogram: In this test, your doctor threads a thin tube (catheter) through your urethra and into your bladder to inject a contrast dye into your ureters. After this, an X-ray exam is used to obtain a detailed look at the upper urinary tract. The dye then flows into your kidneys while X-ray images are captured.
  • Urine Cytology: In this technique, a sample of your urine is analyzed under a microscope to check for cancer cells in a procedure called urine cytology.

Treatment For Bladder Cancer

It’s important to discuss all of your treatment options, including their goals and possible side effects with your doctors to help make the decision that suits you the best. The type of cancer and stage of cancer decides the treatment for bladder cancer. These are the following cancer treatments:

  • Surgery: Today, surgeries are more prevalent in removing the infected tissues. Along with technological advancements, these surgeries are even safe and promise a fair percentage of positive results. Surgical options to treat bladder cancer can include transurethral bladder tumor resection (TURBT), Cystectomy and lymph node dissection and urinary diversion. 
  • Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is the highly used treatment in curing tumors that are shut-in to the lining of the bladder. The tumors have a high risk of recurrence or progression to a higher stage is much effectively treated with Chemotherapy. This therapy is used for the whole body as a primary treatment in cases where surgery isn't an option.
  • Radiation Therapy: This technique is used to destroy cancer cells and is the best replacement for a surgery. This method uses radiation to kill cancer cells or to slow down the spread of cancer. 
  • Immunotherapy: Another effective method to fight bladder cancer is Immunotherapy. It targets the body's immune system to fight cancer cells throughout the body.

The physician consulted, depending upon stage and severity of the disease, may recommend the combination of the above treatments.

If you are concerned or can relate to the above changes, please talk to your doctor, Your doctor will ask about the duration and frequency of the symptoms, in addition to other questions. The doctor will figure out the exact cause of the problem and if cancer is detected, they will begin the treatment immediately. You can also go through the different types of cancer and their symptoms to get an in-depth understanding. Also read, Prevention of Kidney Cancer.


Dr. Kapil Kumar

About the Author

Surgical Oncologist
Dr. Kapil Kumar is an Oncologist and cancer specialist practicing at BLK Hospital in Rajendra Place, Delhi. He specializes in Breast cancer, Oncoplastic surgery, Upper G.I. Onco surgery, Pancreatic Biliary surgery, and Thoracic surgery including Esophagus cancer. He has completed his MBBS from Amritsar Government Medical College and Hospital. Further, he pursued MS from Amritsar Government Medical College and Hospital. Dr. Kapil is a member of Indian Society of Oncology (I.S.O.) and International Society of Diseases of Esophagus. He is also a member of Delhi Medical Association (D.M.A.). He got Dhanvantari award from Cholay 1 Foundation for Onco- Surgery work. He has worked in various hospitals as Senior Consultant Oncologist. Dr. Kapil has an experience of more than two and a half decade in this field. BLK Hospital is JCI, NABH and NABL accredited. It is one of the most successful and largest private sector hospitals situated in Delhi. Book appointment with Dr. Kapil Kumar at Elacancer.com.
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    Sarang Vishnavi
    Oct. 20, 2018, 2:25 p.m.
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