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Bladder cancer

  • Overview


    Bladder cancer is a frequently occurring cancer that originates in the cells of the bladder. The bladder is a muscular sac in the lower abdomen that stores urine.

    The most common form of bladder cancer begins in the urothelial cells that line the bladder’s interior. These urothelial cells are also in the kidneys and the tubes connecting them to the bladder. While urothelial cancer can occur in the kidneys and ureters, it is more prevalent in the bladder.

    Early diagnosis of bladder cancer is common, and treatment is highly effective. However, it can reoccur even after successful therapy of early-stage bladder cancer. As a result, individuals with bladder cancer usually require follow-up tests for several years after treatment to detect any recurrence.

  • Symptoms


    Signs and symptoms of bladder cancer may include:
    Hematuria (blood in the urine) can make the urine appear bright red or cola-coloured, yet there are situations when the urine appears normal, and blood is found on a lab test.
    Often urinating.
    Unpleasant urination.

  • When to see a doctor


    If you observe that your urine has changed colour and you’re worried it might contain blood, you must schedule an appointment with your doctor to check it. Additionally, if you’re experiencing other symptoms causing you concern, you should make an appointment with your doctor.

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  • Causes


    The development of bladder cancer starts when cells in the bladder change their DNA. DNA within a cell provides instructions for its function. These changes lead the compartment to increase uncontrollably and survive beyond the lifespan of healthy cells. As a result, abnormal cells form a tumour that can harm normal body tissue. Over time, these abnormal cells can detach and spread throughout the body, known as metastasis.

  • Risk factors


    Some elements that could raise the risk of bladder cancer include:
    Smoking. Smoking cigarettes, cigars, or pipes can increase your risk of bladder cancer by causing your urine to become accumulated with dangerous chemicals. Your body breaks down the chemicals from smoking and excretes some of them in your urine. Your bladder’s lining could become harmed by these hazardous chemicals, raising your risk of developing cancer.
    Advancing years. The risk of bladder cancer rises with age. While bladder cancer can strike anyone at any age, most cases occur in patients over 55.
    Being a man. Bladder cancer is more common in men than in women.
    The exposure to specific substances. Your kidneys are crucial for filtering dangerous compounds from your bloodstream into your bladder. As a result, it is believed that exposure to particular chemicals may raise the risk of bladder cancer. Arsenic and chemicals used in producing dyes, rubber, leather, textiles, and paint products are associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer.
    Prior cancer therapy. Cyclophosphamide chemotherapy treatment raises the risk of bladder cancer. Bladder cancer is more likely to occur in those who had pelvic radiation therapy for an earlier cancer.
    Bladder irritation over time. Squamous cell bladder cancer risk may be increased by persistent or chronic urinary infections or inflammations (cystitis), such as long-term urinary catheter usage. In some parts of the world, schistosomiasis, a parasite illness, is associated with chronic bladder inflammation and squamous cell cancer.
    Personal or family history of cancer. If you’ve had bladder cancer, you’ll probably develop it again. Although bladder cancer seldom runs in families, you may be at a higher risk if one of your blood relatives—a parent, sibling, or child—has a history of the condition. Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC), commonly known as Lynch syndrome, can raise the risk of cancers of the urinary system, colon, uterus, ovaries, and other organs.

  • Prevention


    Reducing the risk of bladder cancer is not a guaranteed outcome, but there are steps you can take to help prevent it. First, avoid smoking and seek your doctor’s help quitting, if needed. Secondly, handle all necessary precautions when working with chemicals to prevent exposure. Lastly, opt for a diverse diet of fruits and vegetables, as their antioxidants may help reduce cancer risk.

  • *Please note that the information provided in the article is for reference purposes only. It is essential to consult a doctor before applying any of the suggestions mentioned.

Content Details

Medical info from Mayo Clinic, for reference only. Visit Hoan My for better advice.

Last updated on: 07/08/2023