Bladder Cancer

The bladder is a muscular balloon-like organ that sits inside the pelvis.The kidneys will excrete the urine and store it. Bladder cancer occurs when there is an abnormal growth of tissues in the bladder referring to a tumour. This can develop when the cells in the bladder (mainly the lining of the bladder) replicates rapidly and generates additional tissue. When the bladder cancer is restricted only to the lining of the bladder wall, it refers to a superficial bladder cancer. Although, if the bladder cancers spreads to the muscle wall, it can go to other parts of the body that involves the lunds, liver and bone, which it is known as invasive bladder cancer.

There are three types of bladder cancer:

- Adenocarcinoma

- Squamous cell carcinoma

- Transitional cell or urothelial carcinoma



Causes

The exact causing factor of bladder cancer is still vague. Although, there are other risks that is associated with bladder cancer:

- A poor diet that is high in saturated fat and persistent intake of certain Chinese heards and painkillers.

- Chronic bladder infection and certain parasite infections (Schistosoma haematobium, found in developing countries).

- 50% of bladder cancer cases are caused by smoking.

- Age is also a risk factor with most of the cases occurring in those who are older than 70 years old.

- Alternative risk factors involve gender (being male), ethnicity (Caucasians) and a family history of bladder cancer.

- Overexposure to some chemicals at the workplace, involving exposure to hair dye and aniline dyes, that is utilized in textile and rubber industries.

- Treatments of other cancers includes radiotherapy to the pelvis area, or chemotherapy involving a drug called cyclophosphamide


Symptoms

- Finding urine in blood

- The urge to urinate often

- Painful sensation during urination


Treatment

There are other treatment options that are offered for bladder cancer, this depends on what type of cancer and the severity of it.

Your overall health condition also plays a part for your doctors to determine the best treatment option for you. From a personalized treatment to a combination of methods to find a plan that suits you best.

In the early stages, some treatment options may include:

- Regular check-ups post treatment as the superficial bladder cancers often develop again.

- Intravesical chemotherapy, that can be used on its own or post TURBT where it is injected into the bladder through a small catheter.

- Transurethral resection of bladder tumour (TURBT) is a minimally invasive surgery that involves a resectoscope instrument, this enters the bladder through the urethra. This is to cut off the tumour or burn away bladder cancer cells with an electric current.

If the bladder cancer has reached an advanced (invasive) stage, the following treatment options might be recommended.

Biological therapy uses live-attenuated bcg bacteria, to prompt a response from the immune system to combat bladder cancer cells. By using a small catheter, the bacteria is injected into the bladder. Chemotherapy drugs is used by injecting intravenously in order to circulate in the bloodstream and to get to almost all organs in the body.

Alternatively, this can be given orally. Radical cystectomy is a surgery that gets rid of the whole bladder, nearby to the lymph nodes and other surrounding organs with the potential to turn into a cancerous one.

Your doctor might be able to provide a replacement bladder by using a part of the small or large intestine.Radiotherapy uses high-energy rays, that is used to kill cancer cells and to alleviate the symptoms caused by the disease.

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