Bladder cancer is a disease in which malignant cells form in the urinary bladder tissues and start to grow abnormally. The bladder is a hollow and flexible pouch in the lower part of the abdomen that holds urine coming from the kidneys before eventually pushing out from the urethra.
The most common types of bladder cancer are as follows:
Urothelial carcinoma (transitional cell carcinoma)
is the most common type of bladder cancer that begins in the innermost lining of the bladder cells. The transitional tissues are capable to stretch full or shrink without becoming damaged. It can affect other parts of the urinary tract also.
Squamous cell carcinoma
is the rare type of cancer that occurs when thin and flat squamous cells are found on the surface of the skin. It is associated with prolonged infection or irritation in the bladder.
Cancer occurs when glandular cells are found in the bladder lining after long-term bladder irritation and inflammation. This is a very rare type of cancer.
The most common signs and symptoms of bladder cancer are blood in the urine, painful urination, frequent urination, pain in the abdominal area and lower back.
What are the causes?
The exact causes of bladder cancer are unknown but some factors increase the risk of developing bladder cancer.
The following tests and procedures can be used to diagnose bladder cancer:
In the diagnosis procedure, tests are done to find out the growth of cancer cells within the bladder lining or to the other organs.
Bladder cancer is described based on its appearance and position in the wall of the bladder. Cancer that is in the lining of the bladder is superficial and called non-invasive cancer. Cancer that has spread through the lining of the bladder and penetrated the muscle wall and has grown into deeper layers of the bladder wall is invasive.
Your doctor decides the treatment option based on the type and stage of your bladder cancer, your symptoms, and your overall health.
Bladder cancer often reoccurs so follow-up tests are mandatory. Cancer treatment can cause side effects or problems on the nearby organs. Bleeding, loss of appetite, constipation, diarrhea, fatigue, hair loss, nausea, and vomiting are common issues faced by people after bladder surgery. Speak with your doctor about your concerns and take preventive measures to manage the side effects.
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