Getting bladder cancer is not a good thing, but if it is found early, treatment is effective. Doctors can help patients understand the disease and the possible effects of treatment.
Bladder cancer is a type of cancer that begins in the inner lining of the bladder. It can also spread to nearby organs. Symptoms vary depending on where the cancer has spread. Some symptoms may include unexplained appetite loss, pain in the back or pelvis, or jaundice.
Bladder cancer is often found in older people, and the risk of developing the disease is higher in men than in women. The risk factors for bladder cancer are related to genetics, smoking, and exposure to certain chemicals. The risk is also increased by certain types of infections and by certain medications. For instance, some medicines used to treat diabetes may increase the risk of bladder cancer.
The disease is usually diagnosed in people over the age of 55. However, it may occur in people younger than 40. The cancer can spread to other parts of the body, such as the liver, lungs, or bones. It can also recur after treatment. Doctors may use chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or surgery to treat the disease. The treatment plan is based on the size of the cancer and the patient’s overall health.
If the cancer is diagnosed in the early stages, surgery may be used. The doctor will remove part of the bladder and surrounding organs. Alternatively, chemotherapy drugs may be administered into the bladder. Radiation therapy is also used to treat bladder cancer. It can be combined with chemotherapy to help kill the cancer cells.
If the cancer is found in the muscle of the bladder, a different treatment may be used. This treatment is called radical cystectomy. The doctor uses a thin lighted tube called a cystoscope to get a clear view of the inside of the bladder. The doctor will then remove the cancer with a tool with a small wire loop on the end. The doctor will also send the sample to a laboratory to check for cancer cells.
Bladder cancer can also be diagnosed by a CT scan, or computerized axial tomography. A CT scan produces three-dimensional pictures of the inside of the body. This information is helpful in staging the disease and developing a treatment plan. The size of the cancer will also be measured. This information helps doctors and patients choose the best treatment for the patient.
Surgery is the most common type of treatment for bladder cancer. Surgery may be used to treat both invasive and non-invasive bladder cancer. Surgery is also used to remove tumors in the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body.
Invasive bladder tumors are difficult to treat because they are more likely to spread. They grow into the muscle and fatty layers of the bladder wall. In addition, they can also spread to the pelvic side wall or nearby lymph nodes. Invasive bladder cancers are also known as high-grade tumors. They have poorly organized cells and are more aggressive.