Cancer » Bladder Cancer
Bladder cancer originates mainly in the bladder and is one of the most common types of cancer. Bladder is the organ meant to store urine and the cancer develops in the tissues of the bladder.
About the disease
Bladder cancer is a disease that mainly affects the bladder. The cells in the urinary bladder show an uncontrolled growth mostly starting form the bladder's innermost layer. These cancerous cells may further spread to other organs such as the bones, liver or even the lungs.
The disease can be broadly divided into three main types as the transitional cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. The transitional cell carcinoma is the most common type of bladder cancer and almost ninety percent of the cases belong to this type. In this type, the cancerous cells develop in the bladder's innermost layer and destroy the transitional cells responsible for the contracting and stretching of the bladder. This may lead to an uneasiness and pain during the urination. Transitional cell carcinoma is also known as the urothelial cell carcinoma.
Adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are the other types and occur very rarely. Squamous cell carcinoma originates in the squamous cells mainly due to the bladder irritation or inflammation. The adenocarcinoma develops in the mucus-producing glandular cells. Both the types of infections spread rapidly and are very invasive. Hence, an early detection and diagnosis is a must to treat this disease.
What the study says?
Tobacco smoking is one of the most prime causes of this cancer. According to a study conducted by the researchers, almost fifty percent of men and one-third women suffering from the disease were associated with smoking. The chances of occurrence of the disease in smokers are much higher than the non-smokers and also the recovery is comparatively slower. Good health with a strong immune system can be very beneficial in fighting the disease. Also, drinking ample water will reduce the chances of falling prey to the disease and help in smooth functioning of your kidney and bladder.
How to fight bladder cancer?
Causes and symptoms play an important role in deciding the kind of treatment that needs to be given to the cancer patients. It is important to understand that the symptoms don't guarantee the presence of cancerous cells and a thorough examination by a cancer expert is necessary.
Some of the primary symptoms of the disease are blood in the urine, lower back pain or the frequent urination. It is important to note that the symptom of frequent urination is also observed in a diabetic patient and must not be confused with the bladder cancer.
Frequent exposure to chemicals such as aromatic amines and dyes can make you more prone to the disease as compared to those who are not exposed. Also, working in the printing, metalwork, textile, rubber, leather or paint industries may increase the risk of getting infected by the disease.
If you are working in any of the above industries and have detected any of the symptoms mentioned, you need to contact your physician. Thorough examination of your body will help in diagnosing and treating the disease better. Various techniques such as the biopsy, computed tomography (CT) scan and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are used to examine the body internally. This helps in understanding the nature of the disease and locating the point of its origin. X-rays are also useful in finding the extent to which the cancerous cells have spread and the line of treatment is decided accordingly.
The cancer develops and spreads to the different organs of the body in various stages and the process is usually gradual. In the initial stage (also known as Stage Ta), the cancerous cells restrict themselves only to the bladder's inner lining. Then, they pass onto the next layer but do not affect the bladder muscles. In the second stage, they reach the bladder muscles but keep away from the tissues surrounding the bladder. In the next stage, these cells not only reach the tissues but also infect the uterus, prostate gland or the vagina. In the final stage, they severely affect the abdominal walls, lymph nodes and may also spread rapidly to the other organs of the body. Chances of recurrence of the disease are high if the treatment is not taken correctly or the symptoms are neglected. So, if you detect the same symptoms as found before the treatment, the disease may have recurred and early diagnosis is a must to curb the improper cell-growth.
Bladder cancer is curable if detected at the initial stages. Understanding its symptoms and causes will help you considerably in deciding on what kind of treatment is beneficial for you. Also, you must quit smoking and tobacco chewing to make yourself less prone to the disease. Patient's age and health plays an important role in fighting with the disease effectively. Treatment to be taken must be thoroughly discussed with the respective cancer specialist as there are many side-effects of the treatments like the chemotherapy and the radiotherapy and may cause irreversible damage if not take properly.