Facts You Should Know About Bladder Cancer
Bladder cancer causes the cells in one’s bladder to grow uncontrollably. This creates tumors and affects the remaining healthy tissue in the bladder. A tumor within the bladder can sometimes be transferred from a neighboring tissue in a process called metastasis. Or the tumor was generated within the bladder.
According to the American Cancer Society, 80,470 people in the US will be diagnosed with bladder cancer this year. Bladder cancer shows many early warning signs and you should be aware of the first indications to look for.
Warning Signs of Bladder Cancer
In its early stages, bladder cancer is difficult to diagnose. Various types of tumors are relatively painless while they are small. However, there are ways to identify bladder cancer early and improve your chance of recovery.
These are some common warning signs you should be aware of:
- Uncontrolled or frequent urination
- Painful urination
- Blood in your urine
If you’re suffering from any of these symptoms and warning signs, you should consult your doctor. You should ask about bladder cancer screening right away. This is the best way to check whether or not you could be living with early stage bladder cancer.
Advanced Warning Signs
Your symptoms will worsen as bladder cancer becomes more advanced. Although pain is not common in the early stages, it is likely to develop as the symptoms become more advanced.
The following are some of the symptoms and warning signs you might experience with bladder cancer that has progressed to more advanced stages:
• Difficulty urinating
• Bone pain
• Feeling weak
• Loss of appetite
• Swollen feet or legs
• Abdominal pain
• A persistent, unexplained cough
• Jaundice, or the yellowing of your skin
• A constant Lower back pain
It is more challenging to treat bladder cancer once the symptoms mentioned above set in. This is why early screening and detection are so important
Diagnosing Bladder Cancer
A doctor will use various techniques to diagnose whether you have bladder cancer and to determine the stage of the tumor.
A urine test is the initial step in diagnosing bladder cancer. If your sample contains traces of blood, the next thing your doctor will ask you to do is to undergo a urine cytology test. That test will determine if there are any tumor cells in your urine.
Another thing your doctor might perform is cystoscopy, in which a flexible, lighted tube is inserted into your urethra. The examination of this tube will enable your doctor to see the inside of your bladder to confirm if there are tumors in your urethra. Your doctor will perform a full cystoscopy exam at his or her office.
Your doctor may perform a biopsy of your bladder tumor and muscle next if he or she is still not certain about your diagnosis. The procedure is referred to as transurethral resection of bladder tumor (TURBT). This procedure will find out your tumor’s type and how deeply it is entrenched within your bladder muscles.
Your doctor may further order a range of imaging scans, including CT scan, a PET scan, an ultrasound, or an MRI to determine if your bladder cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
Treatments for Bladder Cancer
In some cases, a cancerous bladder tumor can be eliminated with a simple TURBT procedure. In addition, various other types of surgery can also be used, including a pelvic lymph node dissection or a radical cystectomy.
For males, radical cystectomy involves the complete removal of the bladder and, in some cases, the prostate and urethra too. In females, the procedure may include the removal of ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, and part of the vagina. In addition, pelvic lymph node dissection involves the removal of the lymph nodes that are adjacent to the bladder.
A urinary diversion procedure follows after bladder removal. It gives urine a new passageway to exit the body. Occasionally, a urinary bag may be worn outside the body. Another alternative that is becoming increasingly more common is the formation of a new bladder on the inside of the body from intestinal tissues.
Patients with bladder cancer can alternatively undergo chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or immunotherapy.
Intravesical chemotherapy includes the injection of anti-cancer drugs directly into the bladder. Intravenous injection or oral application is the alternative process to apply systemic chemotherapy. Another potential therapy for bladder cancer is an immunotherapy that is aimed at boosting the immune system to resist against cancer cells. In several cases, oncologists can also suggest radiation therapy.
Bladder cancer is difficult to deal with, but if you detect this disease early an effective treatment plan can be developed. If you suspect that you have bladder cancer you should consult with your doctor right away. Swift action can save your life.
Some experts think that diet can play a significant role in fighting cancer. The ketogenic diet has been particularly identified as potentially effective against tumors. The Gerson Diet is and form of complementary cancer treatment that involves coffee enemas and the intake of fresh fruit.