Combating Bladder Cancer

Bladder cancer is the most common cancer all over the world. Approximately fifty percent patients survive this disease if it is detected in time. Abnormal growth of malignant cells of urinary bladder in bladder, the organ that holds urine and is located in the lower abdomen, is the cause of this type of cancer. Thus, bladder cancer is the growth of cancerous tumors in the bladder and may spread to different organs like the rectum, prostate, ureters, uterus, vagina etc.

The causes behind bladder cancer-

  • Smoking is the main reason behind this cancer as found in many cases. People with smoking habits, irrespective of sex, are the most susceptible to this kind of disease. It has been found that 50% of cases among men and 30% of cases among women care may be caused by smoking.
  • It is widely accepted that people who come in contact with carcinogens (chemicals causing cancer) are at high risk. Dye workers, pesticide applicators, leather workers etc are st risk due to exposure of cancer causing chemicals like arylamines. Even beauticians like hairdressers are considered to be at risk because of their frequent exposure to hair dyes.
  • Women, who are undergoing treatment for cervical cancer and receiving radiation or chemotherapy therapy, are also at risk of developing bladder cancer.
  • According to the world food organization, some yellow-orange vegetables like carrot or selenium can cause moderately reduced bladder cancer.
  • Infection with schistosomiasis parasites is another possible cause of bladder cancer.
  • A long term bladder infection can result in squamous cell bladder cancer
  • Symptoms of bladder cancer -

  • Occurrence of blood in urine is the most primary symptom of blood cancer. Approximately, eighty percent of patients suffer from this problem.
  • The patient suffers from extreme pain while passing urine. The patients might feel the pain suddenly or often.
  • However, sometimes it is seen that urinary infection also causes bleeding while passing urine. So, it is better to check out whether it is due to bladder cancer or any kind of infection.
  • The patient cannot repress the urge to control sudden urination or sudden abdominal pain.
  • Apart from this, sudden weight loss or lethargy is symptoms of bladder cancer.
  • How to treat bladder cancer

    Proper diagnosis is required before treatment can be started. The diagnosis tests may include -

    1. Abdominal city scan

    2. Bladder biopsy

    3. Cystoscopy

    4. Urinalysis

    5. Intravenous pyelogram

    6. Urine cytology

  • If the patient is at the first stage, surgery to remove tumor without removing bladder or immunotherapy or chemotherapy is suggested.
  • If the patient is at the second stage, a combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy is recommended to remove the whole bladder or the part of the bladder.
  • But if the disease is detected at the fourth stage, then chemotherapy is the only choice then. Chemotherapy may comprise of a single drug or different combination of drugs. The drugs that are included in chemotherapy are carboplatin, cisplatin, ifosmaide etc.
  • Immunotherapy is performed in order to kill malignant cells. Immunotherapy is performed using Bacille Chalmette –Guerin Vaccine, which is commonly known as BCG. Failure of BCG leads to infections like chills, itching, joint pain etc.
  • In addition, bladder removal is performed when the spread of malignant cells are about to infect the whole body.
  • Expectations after Surgery

    Patients need to go through regular checkup to be certain whether the cancer is eliminated or whether there is any chance of it recurring. Bone scan, blood scan or cyst copy every 3 to 6 months are some primary preventive steps for the patients, who have already gone through bladder surgery.

    So to fight against this disease what a patient needs to is monitor his or health regularly even after surgery .