Bladder Cancer ُEarly Symptoms
Bladder cancer affects 68,000 adults in the United States each year. It is more common among men than women and advancing age puts you at higher risk of developing bladder cancer.
In bladder cancer, urothelial cells that line the inside of your bladder starts growing rapidly without any check. A smoking history and working in certain chemical industries make you more vulnerable of developing the cancer.
Fortunately, around 7 out of every 10 bladder cancers are diagnosed at an early stage and can be treated successfully. But the important thing to note here is the issue of recurrence which can even occur after successful resection of an early stage tumor. In fact, people suffering from bladder cancer are advised some follow-up screening tests for several years after surgery or chemotherapy to evaluate the patient for any recurrent tumors in the bladder that have high tendency to transform into advanced stage cancer.
Some risk factors have been documented after years of rigorous research. Smokers are at least three times more prone to suffer from bladder cancer than non-smokers.
Other risk factors include:
- bladder anomalies from birth
- chronic cystitis and other bladder infections
- exposure to certain industrial chemicals, including aromatic dyes and arsenic in drinking water
- drinking less water
- history of bladder cancer in family
- dietary supplements and other drugs, such as pioglitazone (Actos) and aristolochic acid makes you more vulnerable to the disease
Different types of bladder cancer can occur in different populations. Most common type is urothelial carcinoma, or transitional cell carcinoma. Other types are rare including Squamous cell carcinoma, Adenocarcinoma, Small cell carcinoma and Sarcoma
Cancers of the bladder have two type of growth patterns:
- Papillary carcinomas grow inward.
- Flat carcinomas grow outward.
1Blood in urine
Blood in the urine, also called hematuria is the most common compliant of the patient suffering from bladder cancer. Patient presents with the complaint of darkening of urine or blood in urine. “Gross hematuria” means that patient can see the blood. But it is very likely that there are small amounts of blood in the urine that cannot be seen by the patient This is referred as “microscopic hematuria,” and your doctor may order a urine test to identify the presence of blood in urine.
After history and examination from the patient presenting with the complaint of hematuria, doctor may ask for cystoscopy, a visual examination of the inside of the walls of bladder and a computed tomographic (CT) urogram, an x-ray to visualize the whole urinary system. Doctor order these tests to find out the source of bleeding and exclude any doubts regarding bleeding from kidneys and ureters.
Early diagnosis of bladder cancer can be a great blessing for the patient. If the tumor has not spread into the muscular walls of the bladder, it can be removed with the cystoscope by your surgeon. Chemotherapy or immunotherapy are given to the patient after the surgical resection in order to prevent recurrence.
But, if the cancer has invaded the muscular walls of the bladder, it is recommended to complete removal of the bladder (cystectomy). Cystectomy is also followed by chemotherapy. In some patients, chemotherapy and radiation are an alternative to bladder removal. It is significant for the patient to visit the doctor regularly after treatment because bladder cancer is notorious for recurrence.