Bladder cancer is defined as any of several types of cancer arising from the epithelial lining (i.e., the urothelium) of the urinary bladder. Rarely the bladder is involved by non-epithelial cancers, such as lymphoma or sarcoma, but these are not ordinarily included in the colloquial term "bladder cancer." It is a disease in which abnormal cells multiply without control in the bladder.
"A medical professional should always be consulted if you have blood in the urine or if the urine becomes cloudy."
Alternate Names: Invasive Bladder Cancer, Bladder Carcinoma, Invasive Bladder Carcinoma, Transitional Cell Carcinoma of the Bladder, Transitional Cell Cancer of the Bladder, Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Bladder, Squamous Cell Cancer of the Bladder, Adenocarcinoma of the Bladder, Urinary Cancer, Urinary Carcinoma
Bladder cancer is a tumor within the bladder, usually starting with the cells lining the bladder walls.
Most bladder cancers are transitional cell carcinomas. Other types include squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma. The cells that form squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma develop in the inner lining of the bladder as a result of chronic irritation and inflammation.
Cancer that begins in the transitional cells may spread through the lining of the bladder and invade the muscle wall of the bladder or spread to nearby organs and lymph nodes. This is called Invasive Bladder Cancer.
These abnormal cells multiply without control. The tumor may or may not be malignant depending on the invasiveness of the type of cancer involved. The cause of bladder cancer is uncertain as with most types of cancer. Studies have shown that several risk factors may contribute to the development of bladder cancer.
About 25 percent of bladder cancer can be attributed to the exposure to cancer-causing chemicals or carcinogens in the workplace. The chemicals that belong to the Arylamines and Benzidine families are considered the most responsible. Arylamines exposure used to be very high in Dye, Rubber, Aluminum, Leather industry workers along with truck drivers and pesticide applicators but most arylamines usage has been reduced in the workplace because of government regulation.
Radiation therapy for women with cervical cancer have an increased risk of developing bladder cancer. Certain drugs are known to result in a high risk factor to developing bladder cancer such as chemotherapy agent cyclophosphamide and the analgesic phenacetin. Repeated or chronic bladder infections may also lead to the type of cancer called squamous cell bladder cancer. This type of bladder cancer is very slow growing and as with all cancers, early detection can lead to a higher cure rate.
According to the TNM (tumor, lymph node, and metastases) classification system the cancer stage is classified by the location, size and aggressiveness . Recently the TNM staging system has become very popular with the medical industry to describe all types of cancer.
Stages of Bladder Cancer
The TNM staging system is divided into 5 main stages along with several sub stages using the following scale.
The following symptoms of bladder cancer can also be associated with non-cancerous conditions. Nerveless any symptom of a suspicious nature should be always evaluated by a trained urologist. Early detection is critical in the successful outcome of all cancer treatments.
A medical professional should always be consulted if you have blood in the urine or if the urine becomes cloudy. The color of ones urine does give great insight into the internal condition of the urinary track.
Urinary frequency, increased frequency in the need to urinate. This could also be sign of a bladder infection called cystitis, bladder irritation called interstitial cystitis, or from a kidney stone.
Painful urination could also be caused by a bladder infection, kidney stone or another serious problem.
Urinary urgency just after using the restroom and when you do you only urinate small amounts. Could be a bladder infection called cystitis, bladder irritation called interstitial cystitis, or from a kidney stone.
Some women report this symptom after childbirth and may be caused from a weakness in the bladder due to childbirth or aging. This weakness is called stress incontinence. Suggested reading kegel exercises and vaginal weight training.
Common Vitamins and over the counter products such as Vitamin A, Cranberry Juice, and L-cysteine can help with treating Bladder problems.
Vitamin A deficiency may increase the risk of cancers of the lung, larynx, bladder, esophagus, stomach, colon, rectum and prostate.
Cranberry Juice may also help prevent kidney and bladder infections. If you are taking COUMADIN then check with your doctor before using cranberry.
L-cysteine is another immune system stimulant but should always be taken in conjunction with Vitamin C to reduce the risk of developing stone formation in the kidneys and bladder.
The following may be used to diagnose the disease:
Physical exam and history, CT scan, urinalysis, intravenous pyelogram (IVP), cystoscopy (examination of urinary tract), biopsy, and/or urine cytology (microscopic study of cells).
The following may also be used to determine if the cancer has spread:
MRI, chest x-ray, and/or bone scan.
Treatment may include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and biologic therapy.
Surgical options may include transurethral resection (TUR), radical cystectomy, segmental cystectomy, and/or urinary diversion.Some patients may receive chemotherapy after surgery. This post-surgical treatment is referred to as adjuvant therapy.
If the cancer is inoperable or unresectable, treatment with radiation and/or chemotherapy can be utilized for palliation, but the prognosis is poor.
Bladder Cancer Awareness is represented by the ribbon colors yellow (Marigold), blue and purple. The month of May is Bladder Cancer Awareness Month. Bladder cancer is the 5th most common cancer affecting approximately 535,000 people across the United States. Yearly, it's estimated that 70,000 new cases will be reported.
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