What is Bladder Cancer

Bladder Cancer

bladder cancer doctorsThe bladder is a flexible organ that stores the urine that is sent to the kidneys. If you can catch this cancer early on you have a good chance of a full recovery. Almost all cancer occurrences in the bladder are urothelial carcinoma. Out of all types of cancer, bladder cancer is fifth in line for number of occurrences.

Signs of Bladder Cancer

There are different signs for different stages of bladder cancer. Common signs of this type of cancer include any of the following:

  • Blood in the urine is seen in around 8 out of 10 patients with bladder cancer.
  • Painful urination is another sign that something serious is wrong.
  • Another symptom is frequent but small amounts of urination.
  • If you have frequent urinary tract infections you should have them checked for bladder cancer.

Signs of more progressive form of bladder cancer include:

  • Lower back pain and sensitivity around the kidney area.
    • Swollen legs, usually around the ankles and lower part of the leg.
    • A mass in the pelvic area near the bladder.
    • Unexplained weight loss.
    • Pain in the rectum, anal area, or pelvis.

Treatment Options

Your general health, age, and the stage of the bladder cancer all come into play when determining an effective treatment. The earlier you are diagnosed the better chance you have of the treatment being successful in eliminating the cancer.

  • There are many types of surgical procedures that are effective in treating bladder cancer. Transurethral resection goes through the urethra with a lighted tube to remove the tumors
  • Cystectomy surgery is the removal of the bladder. A partial cystectomy takes just a part of the bladder that is cancerous. A simple cystectomy takes out the entire bladder. Radical cystectomy takes the entire bladder, surrounding lymph nodes and any other organs that may also have cancerous cells.
  • Urinary diversion creates a pouch where your body will gather your urine inside your body or a flat bag will be worn outside your body to gather urine outside your body.
  • Chemotherapy is used in many different cancers to remove the cells and tumors that cause it.

There are side effects that many people find hard to deal with such as chronic nausea, weakness, and hair loss.

  • Radiation exposes the cells to high doses of X-rays to kill them.
  • Immunotherapy builds your body’s immune system up so that it can kill off the cancerous cells naturally.

More information on bladder cancer can be foundĀ at Cancer.gov