Bladder cancer is the growth of abnormal tissue in the lining of the urinary bladder. There are also some occasions where the tumor metastasizes into the surrounding muscles. The bladder is a hollow organ in the pelvis with flexible muscular walls which enables it to store urine before it exits the body.
The urine made by the kidneys moves to the bladder through our ureter tubes. To release urine, the bladder contracts and forces it out of the body through the urethra. (2)
Most bladder cancers start in the Urothelium or Transitional epithelium (innermost lining of the bladder). Furthermore, bladder cancer is more likely to affect men than women. Approximately 45000 men and 17000 women per year diagnosed with the bladder cancer according to the National Institutes of Health.
Types Of Bladder Cancer
Bladder cancer occurs in three categories namely:
- Transitional Cell Carcinoma: This is the most common type of bladder cancer. It begins in the transitional cells (cells that change shape without ulcerating when the tissue expands) in the inner layer of the bladder.
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma: On the other hand, this type of cancer originates from the thin, flat squamous cells inside the bladder.
- Adenocarcinoma: Lastly, this occurs when glandular cells form in the bladder after a very long-term inflammation of the bladder.
This disease can be classified into noninvasive (superficial) and invasive where noninvasive has a much better treatment than invasive. Furthermore, the first treatment that should be administered for bladder cancer is transurethral resection of the bladder tumor (TURBT). This treatment removes the tumor from the bladder through the urethra and gives information concerning the stage of the tumor.
More About Bladder Cancer
Even though you can keep to your regular breast examination routine, Pap tests, and skin checks, symptoms of bladder cancer may not show up until the disease has advanced. After all, it is more common in the males than females, and the majority of these cases affect patients 65 years and over. (2)
Nevertheless, do not let those statistics keep you from knowing the symptoms that need close attention. Many people often mistakenly believe that only older men get bladder cancer. However, data shows that more than 18,000 women are victimized by it every year in the US.
And because women may not be on the lookout for early symptoms of this type of cancer, the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network reports that women are more likely to be diagnosed with bladder cancer at an advanced stage. Knowing the symptoms can help you get diagnosed sooner, which can improve your prognosis. (3)
Here are a few warning signs women need to be watchful about:
- Cancer of the bladder can affect women at any age.
- Smoking is the greatest risk factor. Smokers get bladder cancer twice as often as nonsmokers.
- Its symptoms may also be identical to those of a bladder infection, and the two problems may occur together. If the symptoms of bladder cancer do not disappear after treatment with antibiotics, insist on having further evaluation to help determine whether bladder cancer is present or not.
- The bladder type of the disease has the highest recurrence rate than any form of cancer at 50 to 80 percent.