An Overview Of Bladder Cancer

The unfortunate truth is that cancer can affect every part of the body, including the bladder. According to The National Cancer Institute, there were 70,530 cases of bladder cancer and 14,680 deaths from this disease in 2010. This type of cancer is formed in bladder tissues. Usually the cancer is transitional cell carcinoma, which starts in the cells located in the inner bladder lining. Less common types include squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma. These types of cancer are usually caused by chronic inflammation of the bladder.

Symptoms of bladder cancer include the urge to urinate frequently, pain while urinating, blood in the urine and pain in the lower back. It should be noted that these symptoms are not always indicative of cancer; they are commonly associated with other conditions like overactive bladder and urinary tract infections, for example. If you have any of these symptoms, you should see your doctor right away for an evaluation. While these are cancer symptoms, you should not panic until after you diagnosis because as mentioned there are a host of other easily treatable conditions that can cause these symptoms.

There are certain diagnostic tests that can determine whether or not the problem is cancer of the bladder. These tests may include imaging procedures such as the CT scan. This scan takes pictures of the internal organs. Sometimes, dye is injected before the scan so the pictures produced can be seen in more detail. Another imaging test is called a cystoscopy. This is where a tube with a camera on the end called a cystoscope is fed into the bladder through the urethra. The tube is very thin. In some cases, the cystoscope may have an attached tool to remove tissue for biopsy purposes. Other tests may include a vaginal or rectal exam where the physician manually feels for malformations, and urinalysis where the urine is tested and analyzed.

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Understanding risk factors for bladder cancer can help you take preventative measures which may minimize your risk. One risk factor is smoking, which is also linked to many other types of cancers and even heart disease. Exposure to certain toxins like rubber, particular textiles or paints, and hairdressing solutions may also play a role. What you eat can also up your risk, so avoid a diet high in fried foods and fatty meats. Parasitic infection left untreated can also be an issue. And, finally this type of cancer is more commonly found in older Caucasian males, which is a risk factor that you can't control. However, you can still practice preventative measures to minimize the likelihood of developing this type of cancer.

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