Bladder cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the cells of the bladder, which is a hollow organ located in the pelvis responsible for storing urine produced by the kidneys. Bladder cancer is one of the most common types of cancer, and it primarily affects older adults. It can occur in both men and women.
Here are some key points about bladder cancer:
Types of Bladder Cancer
- Transitional Cell Carcinoma (TCC): This is the most common type of bladder cancer, accounting for about 90% of cases. It originates in the urothelial cells lining the inside of the bladder.
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma: This type of bladder cancer starts in the thin, flat cells that can form in the bladder lining in response to long-term irritation or infection.
- Adenocarcinoma: This rare type of bladder cancer begins in the glandular cells of the bladder lining. It is more similar to cancers found in other organs, like the colon.
- Smoking: Cigarette smoking is the most significant risk factor for bladder cancer.
- Age: The risk increases with age, primarily affecting people over 55.
- Gender: Men are more likely to develop bladder cancer than women.
- Exposure to Chemicals: Certain workplace exposures, such as to chemicals like aromatic amines used in dye manufacturing, can increase the risk.
- Chronic Bladder Infections or Inflammation: Long-term bladder infections or inflammation can increase the risk of squamous cell carcinoma.
- Family History: Having a family history of bladder cancer can slightly increase the risk.
- Blood in the urine (hematuria) is the most common symptom.
- Frequent urination.
- Painful urination.
- Pelvic pain.
- Back pain.
- Physical examination and medical history review.
- Urinalysis to detect blood and abnormal cells in the urine.
- Cystoscopy: A thin tube with a camera is inserted into the bladder to examine its interior.
- Imaging tests like CT scans or MRIs.
- Biopsy: Removal of a small piece of tissue from the bladder for analysis.
- Treatment options depend on the stage and type of bladder cancer, as well as the patient’s overall health.
- Surgery: Removal of the tumor or partial/complete removal of the bladder (cystectomy).
- Chemotherapy: Used before or after surgery to shrink tumors or kill remaining cancer cells.
- Radiation therapy: Targeted radiation to destroy cancer cells.
- Immunotherapy: Boosts the body’s immune system to fight cancer cells.
- Targeted therapy: Drugs that target specific molecules involved in cancer growth.
- The prognosis varies based on factors like stage at diagnosis, type of cancer, and overall health.
- Early-stage bladder cancer often has a good prognosis.
- Recurrence is common, so long-term follow-up is necessary.
It’s important to note that this information is general in nature. For specific medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment options, individuals should consult their healthcare professionals.