is the nation’s sixth most common form of cancer with more than 73,000 new cases and about 15,000 deaths each year. Even though it is very common, it is one from of cancer that most people know very little about. , also referred to as urothelial carcinoma, begins when the cells in the lining of the bladder start to grow out of control. It may also occur anywhere in the , renal and ureters.
What are the symptoms of?
The most commonis blood in the . Other symptoms include irritation when urinating, urgency, and frequency of urination. These are also common symptoms of a urinary tract infection. If you have any of these symptoms, go see your doctor.
Who is at risk for?
The exact causes remain unknown, but smoking has been found to be the greatestfor , with smokers getting twice as often as people who don’t smoke. Other risk factors include exposure to carcinogens in the environment. Workers in the rubber, chemical and leather industries are at risk, as are hairdressers, machinists, metal workers, painters, textile workers and firefighters.
There are many tests your doctor can use including ultrasounds, CT scans, and MRI scansto detect irregularities in the bladder wall, which would suggest a possible cancer. Thewill also perform a by looking inside the bladder with a long thin camera to visually examine your bladder and remove samples of any suspicious areas for . cytology can be performed to detect cancer cells in . Other tests use -based markers to detect cells or substances in a sample that are relatively specific to .
What are the treatment options for?
- of a bladder (TURBT) – a procedure conducted to examine the bladder more completely under and remove tumors. The is then examined by a to determine the and of the .
Therapy – treatment that involves placing medications that destroy cancer cells directly into the bladder. There are two principal drugs that are used as or .
- Bacille Calmette-Guerin or BCG is a weakened form of tuberculosis which causes an immune or allergic reaction that has been shown to kill cancer cells on the lining of the bladder.
- Mitomycin C is an , anti-cancer drug that has been shown to be effective in reducing the number of recurrences of bladder tumors by as much as 50%, when delivered into the bladder after the TURBT.
- – If bladder tumors persist after therapy, if a invades the muscle wall or if a has a high chance of invading the muscle wall in the future, the may suggest to remove the bladder and keep the cancer from spreading any further. Removal of the bladder, a “ ” requires the to use part of the intestine to create a new way for to go from the out of the body. This new path is called a urinary diversion or urinary reconstruction. The three most common types of urinary diversions are the , continent cutaneous pouch, and .
- – is typically used to treat that has metastasized, which means the cancer cells have spread beyond the bladder to other organs. Neoadjuvant is the term used for prior to , and is the term used for following .
Bladder Preservation Therapy – Although bladder removal, with or without, is the treatment usually offered for muscle- , for some patients it might be possible to use high-dose external beam in combination with . This allows the patient to keep their bladder, and still leaves the possibility of removing the bladder later if tumors .
Are there support groups for people with?
There are many www.bcan.org to find one near you. There is also an online support community available to survivors, caregivers and loved ones 24 hours a day. It is free to join and more than 5,000 members have posted thousands of different discussions supporting each other in battling . There are also general cancer support groups through hospitals and the Cancer Support Community.support groups across the United States. Visit
What should I do if I suspect I may have?
Seek medical help: The most important thing you can do if you suspect you may haveis to see a physician, preferably a as soon as possible. Most bladder cancers can be treated effectively with early detection. If you are found to have – do not lose hope! Today, there are more than one-half million survivors in the U.S. alone.
The information and services provides by theAdvocacy Network (BCAN) are for informational purposes only. The information and services are not intended to be substitutes for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are ill, or suspect that you are ill, seek professional medical attention immediately! BCAN does not recommend or endorse any specific physicians, treatments, procedures or products even though they may be mentioned on this site