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Bladder Cancer

                                          

Bladder cancer is the development of abnormal cells of the bladder lining. It is one of the most common forms of cancers, affecting approximately 68,000 adults in the United States each year. Bladder cancer is more commonly found in men than women and among older adults, although it can occur in either men or women and at any age.

Overview

Symptoms

Most bladder cancers are slow-growing, but once they have spread to the bladder’s muscular wall, they are capable of spreading to the lungs, liver, bones, or lymph nodes. Bladder cancer may not produce noticeable signs or symptoms in the early stages, but people can experience bloody urine and frequent/painful urination. Other symptoms may include pelvic pain, bone pain, or weight loss.

Major Risk Factors

  • Smoking
  • Genetics and family history
  • Arsenic exposure
  • Low fluid consumption

Diagnosis is most commonly found among Caucasian men over 55.

Treatments

Transurethral Resection (TUR)

This involves the removal of the bladder tumor using a scope that is guided into the bladder through the urethra. This is generally done on an outpatient basis. No incisions are needed and recovery is rapid.

Intravesical Therapy

Intravesical Therapy is the use of medications, placed within the bladder via a catheter, to supplement surgical treatment of bladder cancer. This treatment is used to reduce the chances of recurrence of bladder cancer.

Intravesical Therapy

Intravesical Therapy is the use of medications, placed within the bladder via a catheter, to supplement surgical treatment of bladder cancer. This treatment is used to reduce the chances of recurrence of bladder cancer.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy involves using medications to destroy cancer cells. It may also be used to help cure or control cancer cells and may also be used to help relieve painful symptoms. Chemotherapy can be used alone or in combination with radiation or surgery. 

Radiation

Radiation therapy involves using beams of energy to destroy cancer cells. Radiation can be used alone or with chemotherapy, before or after surgery. Although not commonly used to treat bladder cancer, radiation can be useful in certain cases.

Cystectomy

This is the surgical removal of the entire bladder and surrounding lymph nodes. This is performed in conjunction with a procedure to divert the urine. This procedure is reserved for patients that have a low chance of cure from transurethral resection.