The bladder is an organ located in the pelvis that stores urine. Abnormal growth of bladder cells causes bladder cancer. The disease is more common in elderly patients and men. However, it is possible to diagnose this cancer before it spreads. People with this disease have to be tested again and again in their lifetime.
Cancer researchers and doctors are working on this. But surprisingly, bladder cancer is the leading cause of death in the world. Because, in most cases, it’s not possible to understand any of the symptoms of bladder cancer. In most cases, the disease is caught at the very last stage.
Experts say that if the disease is caught at an early stage, it is possible to save the patient. However, the danger is if it’s not being caught. Professor of Urology at the University of Alabama in the United States ‘Soroush Rais Bahrami’ said men generally have a higher risk of bladder cancer when they turn 50. The risk of bladder cancer is currently much higher. However, the good news is that urologists in the world are successfully treating this disease, including urinary incontinence.
What is Bladder Cancer?
Our body is made up of countless small cells. Cancer starts when some cells grow uncontrollably for some reason. When cells grow uncontrollably, lumps of flesh form under the skin. This is called a tumor. These tumors can be benign or malignant. Malignant tumors are called cancers. Bladder cancer is caused by changes in bladder cells.
On the inside of the urinary bladder is a special cell membrane. This is called transitional cell. The specialty of this cell is that it does not absorb urine again and can expand. Like other parts of the body, there is a risk of bladder cancer. Bladder cancer originates from the mucous membrane. That is why it is called transitional cell cancer. Bladder cancer is the second most common cancer of the urinary tract.
The cause of bladder cancer can’t be accurately diagnosed in all cases. Smoking, parasitic infection, radiation, and exposure to chemicals are some of the causes of bladder cancer. Abnormal growth of bladder cells causes bladder cancer. These cancer cells grow and change without being properly divided. Because of this, the growth of the cells gets out of control and later these cancer cells are not destroyed.
Types of Bladder Cancer:
Bladder cancer can be divided into several categories depending on how much area is affected.
Non-muscle-invasive Bladder Cancer:
If the cancer cells are inside the bladder, doctors call it non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer. It is the most common bladder cancer. It does not usually kill people.
Metastatic Bladder Cancer:
If the cancer cells spread from the bladder to the surrounding muscles, it is called muscle-invasive bladder cancer. It is very rare in humans. However, this cancer is much more likely to spread to other parts of the body. If bladder cancer has spread to other parts of the body, it is called advanced or metastatic bladder cancer.
Bladder Cancer Symptoms:
The most common symptom of bladder cancer is bleeding with urine. However, there will be no pain with bleeding. Blood may be seen in your urine or the urine may turn brown due to blood. However, blood will not come every time of urination. Sometimes blood can come sometime cannot.
Some of the more common symptoms of bladder cancer are:
- May need to urinate frequently.
- Sudden urinary pressure may occur.
- Burning may occur while urinating.
If this cancer starts to spread to other parts of the body, then the symptoms that can occur are:
- There may be a pain in the pelvis.
- May cause bone pain.
- Weight loss will be followed by fatigue and constant tiredness.
- The legs may swell.
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Bladder Cancer Causes:
There are several things that can increase the risk of bladder cancer.
The biggest cause of bladder cancer is smoking. Tobacco contains several carcinogens. If you smoke for years, these substances enter your bloodstream and pass into the urine through the kidneys. Since there is urine in the bladder, it comes in contact with these elements repeatedly. This causes the bladder cells to start to change, which can lead to bladder cancer.
One-third of patients develop bladder cancer due to smoking. People who smoke more than 4 times a day are much more likely to develop bladder cancer than non-smokers.
Contact With Chemicals:
Exposure to certain chemicals increases the risk of bladder cancer like:
Working in a factory increases the risk of bladder cancer because of these chemicals:
- Tanning the skin
Chemicals in diesel smoke can also increase the risk of bladder cancer when driving buses or trucks. It can take up to 30 years for cancer to develop after exposure to these chemicals.
There are a number of other reasons why this may increase the risk of cancer.
- If there is cancer in the vicinity of the bladder, it is due to radiotherapy during treatment.
- Due to some of the drugs used to treat cancer in the past.
- If you have diabetes – Some treatments for diabetes can cause bladder cancer.
- Prolonged or recurrent urinary tract infections.
- If there are stones in the bladder for a long time.
Bladder Cancer Diagnosis/Test:
Talk to your doctor if you have blood in your urine. However, keep in mind that blood can be found in the urine due to several other diseases besides bladder cancer.
- Due to urinary tract infection
- Due to kidney infection
- If you have kidney stones, etc.
People are more prone to the above diseases than cancer. If you go to the doctor, he or she will want to know your symptoms, if anyone in your family has cancer, and if you smoke, a urine sample will be taken from you and can be tested in the lab to see if it contains blood, bacteria or abnormal cells.
The doctor may also physically examine your rectum and vagina if there are any lumps that can cause bladder cancer in these areas. If the doctor suspects you have cancer, you will be sent to the hospital for some tests.
Tests that may be performed at the hospital:
The bladder will be examined by inserting a narrow tube with a camera and lights into your urethra. You will be given an anesthetic gel in your urethra before inserting the tube so that you do not feel any pain. It takes about 5 minutes.
CT / MRI scan:
If the doctor feels the need to examine your bladder more deeply, he will give a CT or MRI scan. This is done with the help of X-rays.
Bladder Cancer Treatment:
There are several treatments for bladder cancer. If cancer does not invade the bladder muscle, then it is possible to remove the cancer cells, leaving the rest of the bladder intact. This is done with a surgical procedure called TURBT (transurethral resection of a bladder tumor). After this, chemotherapy is given in the bladder to prevent cancer from coming back.
If the cancer is more likely to come back, a drug called BCG (Bacillus Calmette – Guerin) may be injected into the bladder. If cancer affects the bladder muscle, the bladder may be surgically removed. This is called a cystectomy. Most patients will have the opportunity to have surgery or radiotherapy (radiation kills cancer cells).
Removing the bladder will require another way to collect your urine. For this purpose, it may be necessary to empty the lower abdomen and store the urine in a bag outside. Or a new bladder may be made with a part of the intestine. This will be done at the time of removal of the bladder. You will need to get some tests done regularly to see if the cancer is coming back after treatment.
Foods or Diet for Bladder Cancer:
Experts say that eating disorders can cause bladder cancer. Studies have shown that there is a link between diet and bladder cancer. Let’s find out about foods that will prevent you from bladder cancer.
- The antioxidant lycopene in tomatoes prevents cancer cells. So you can eat tomatoes regularly to avoid bladder cancer.
- Studies have shown that broccoli contains calcium, potassium, folate, and fiber. It prevents heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
- The anti-cancer ingredients in beans help prevent cancer. Regular consumption of beans can prevent bladder cancer.
- Like beans, nuts also contain anti-cancer ingredients. The healthy fats in it, also help prevent cancer.
- Eat oily fish regularly. The omega-three and omega-six fatty acids in these fish help prevent cancer.
- Eat pomegranate which is Rich in antioxidants which prevents cancer.
- Green tea is very popular now. Green tea, rich in antioxidants, reduces the risk of bladder cancer.
Risk Factors of Bladder Cancer:
- Smoking (cigars, pipes) causes harmful chemicals to accumulate in the urine. These harmful chemicals increase the risk of bladder cancer.
- Aging increases the risk of developing bladder cancer. Bladder cancer can affect people of any age, but it is very rare in people under the age of 40.
- Treatment with anti-cancer drugs such as cyclophosphamide increases the risk of bladder cancer.
- Taking diabetes medications such as pioglitazone for more than a year increases the risk of developing bladder cancer.
- If someone in your family has bladder cancer, you are more likely to have this problem. Although, it is not common.
Those Are at Risk of Bladder Cancer:
Gender: Men have an average chance of being diagnosed with this disease. Women are 2 times less likely to be diagnosed with this disease.
Race: Whites have an average chance of being diagnosed with the disease. Blacks, Hispanics, and other races are twice as likely to be diagnosed.
How to Prevent Bladder Cancer:
- Don’t smoke: If you don’t smoke, cancer-causing chemicals can’t get into the bladder. If you smoke, you need to consult a doctor to stop it.
- Be aware of chemicals: If you work with chemicals, you need to be aware of it.
- Drinking plenty of water: Drinking any liquid, especially water, causes toxins to be mixed with the urine and excreted in the urine. Drinking water can reduce the risk of bladder cancer.
- Eating different types of fruits and vegetables: Different types of fruits and vegetables should be eaten. Antioxidants from a variety of fruits and vegetables help reduce the risk of bladder cancer.
If you have bladder cancer then don’t worry, if it’s not too late then go to the doctor, diagnose properly take medication, and follow the treatment. As we said before, besides other cancers bladder cancers are very much possible to cure completely. And if you don’t have bladder cancer, then try to maintain good hygiene. Eat fruits and salad that your body can get more antioxidants to prevent bladder cancer.
Most of the cases peoples died of bladder cancer because of unawareness. If you have any symptoms then don’t ignore it, immediately go to the doctor, at least it will be identified that what kind of problem you have, and if you have bladder cancer it will be detected at an earlier stage as well. And if you are under 40 then don’t need to worry, but stay safe as always.