Bladder cancer

Bladder cancer involves cancerous cells growing in the bladder, that organ in the pelvic region that stores urine. Generally, this type of cancer first begins in the cells inside the bladder rather than cells outside of it. It can affect people of any age, although it is more common in older adults. Bladder cancer is often detected when it is in its early stage, which is very treatable. Unfortunately, bladder cancer often reoccurs, so those who have had bladder cancer before are required to have regular screenings to make certain they remain cancer-free.

There are several different types of bladder cancer. The type you develop depends on which types of cells become cancerous. All three types of bladder cancer start with healthy cells start to mutate. This causes them to start growing in abnormal ways. Eventually, these abnormal cells, which don’t die, merge into a tumor.

The most common type of bladder cancer in the U.S. is called transitional cell carcinoma. This type of cancer involves the cells that exist in the lining of the bladder. When the bladder is full, these cells expand, and when it is empty, they contract. Because these types of cells also line the urethra and ureters, bladder cancer can spread to these locations as well.

Squamous cell carcinoma is another type of bladder cancer. Squamous cells appear when the bladder is irritated or has an infection of some sort, and they work to restore the bladder to full health. However, sometimes they remain in the bladder after the infection is gone, and they can become cancerous over time. This type of cancer is more common in people who have had schistosomiasis, a type of parasitic infection.

Finally, the third type of bladder cancer is called adenocarcinoma. This type of cancer occurs in the cells that make up the glands that secrete mucus. This type of bladder cancer is fairly rare, especially in developed countries. While some people will only experience one type of cancer, it is not uncommon for more than one type of cell to become cancerous.

There are a number of different signs of bladder cancer, and if you notice any of them, you should visit your doctor immediately. They include having blood in your urine, frequently urinating, feeling pain when you urinate, or having abdominal or back pain. You might also frequently develop urinary tract infections. These symptoms can indicate various other issues, of course, but if you have any of them, you should ask your doctor about bladder cancer so you can be tested for it.

There are several different risk factors that can increase your chance of developing bladder cancer. They include smoking, having radiation therapy or chemotherapy, being exposed to certain types of toxic chemicals, or having a family history of cancer. Repeated bladder inflammation can also increase the chances of bladder cancer, as can having any type of birth defect related to your bladder. Age is another factor—those over 65 are more likely to develop bladder cancer.

As far as treatment goes, surgery is the most effective. During the early stage (before the cancer has attacked the bladder walls), surgery may be done to remove the tumor. In some cases, only the tumor is removed. In others, the tumor and a small part of the bladder (the part containing the cancerous cells) are removed together. For more advanced bladder cancer, the bladder may need to be completely removed. Following this, surgery to create a new way of draining urine from your body will have to be performed. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy may also be used to destroy the cancerous cells in some cases.

Last updated on Feb 8th, 2010 and filed under Genitourinary Disorders. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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