Bladder Cancer Bladder Cancer

Bladder Cancer

Do you experience painful urination, consistent pelvic pain or see blood in your urine?

Visit Steinberg Urology for a consultation with our urologists to address your concerns, perform diagnosis and provide you on advice as to what treatments are likely to fit your individual circumstances.

Bladder cancer

Bladder cancer is one of the most common cancers. It occurs in men more frequently than it does in women and usually affects older adults, though it can happen at any age. Bladder cancer can often be successfully treated if it is found and treated early.

Although it’s most common in the bladder, this same type of cancer can occur in other parts of the urinary tract drainage system, kidney or urethra.

About seven out of every 10 bladder cancers diagnosed start out at an early stage — when bladder cancer is highly treatable. However, even early-stage bladder cancer may recur. For this reason, people with bladder cancer typically need follow-up tests for years after treatment to look for bladder cancer that recurs or advances to a higher stage.

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SYMPTOMS

Bladder cancer signs and symptoms may include:

  • Blood in urine (hematuria)
  • Painful urination
  • Pelvic pain

If you have hematuria, your urine may appear bright red or cola colored. Sometimes, urine may not look any different, but blood in urine may be detected during a microscopic exam of the urine.

People with bladder cancer might also experience:

  • Back pain
  • Frequent urination

But, these symptoms often occur because of something other than bladder cancer.

CAUSES OF BLADDER CANCER

Bladder cancer develops when cells in the bladder begin to grow abnormally. Rather than grow and divide in an orderly way, these cells develop mutations that cause them to grow out of control and not die. These abnormal cells form a tumor.

Causes of bladder cancer include:

  • Smoking and other tobacco use
  • Exposure to chemicals, especially working in a job that requires exposure to chemicals
  • Past radiation exposure

It’s not always clear what causes bladder cancer, and some people with bladder cancer have no obvious risk factors.

RISK FACTORS

Factors that may increase bladder cancer risk include:

Smoking.

Smoking cigarettes, cigars or pipes may increase the risk of bladder cancer by causing harmful chemicals to accumulate in the urine. When you smoke, your body processes the chemicals in the smoke and excretes some of them in your urine. These harmful chemicals may damage the lining of your bladder, which can increase your risk of cancer.

Increasing age.

Bladder cancer risk increases as you age. Bladder cancer can occur at any age, but it’s rarely found in people younger than 40.

Being white.

White people have a greater risk of bladder cancer than do people of other races.

Being a man.

Men are more likely to develop bladder cancer than women are.

Exposure to certain chemicals.

Your kidneys play a key role in filtering harmful chemicals from your bloodstream and moving them into your bladder. Because of this, it’s thought that being around certain chemicals may increase the risk of bladder cancer. Chemicals linked to bladder cancer risk include arsenic and chemicals used in the manufacture of dyes, rubber, leather, textiles and paint products.

Previous cancer treatment.

Treatment with the anti-cancer drug cyclophosphamide increases the risk of bladder cancer. People who received radiation treatments aimed at the pelvis for a previous cancer have an elevated risk of developing bladder cancer.

Chronic bladder inflammation.

Interstitial cystitis (IC), also called bladder pain syndrome, is a chronic, or long-lasting, condition that causes painful urinary symptoms: pain, pressure, or discomfort in the suprapubic or bladder area which can cause urinary frequency or the urge to urinate that has been present for at least six weeks.

Personal or family history of cancer.

If you’ve had bladder cancer, you’re more likely to get it again. If one of your first-degree relatives — a parent, sibling or child — has a history of bladder cancer, you may have an increased risk of the disease, although it’s rare for bladder cancer to run in families. A family history of hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer, also called Lynch syndrome, can increase the risk of cancer in the urinary system, as well as in the colon, uterus, ovaries and other organs.

DIAGNOSIS

To diagnose bladder cancer, your doctor will:

  • Ask about your medical history and do a physical examination, including a vaginal or rectal examination.
  • Test your urine to look for blood or abnormal cells. A sample of your urine is analyzed under a microscope to check for cancer cells in a procedure called urine cytology.
  • Do a cystoscopy, a test that lets your doctor look into your bladder with a thin, lighted viewing tool. Small tissue samples (biopsies) are taken and looked at under a microscope to find out if there are cancer cells.
  • Imaging tests, such as computerized tomography (CT) urogram or retrograde pyelogram, allow your doctor to examine the structures of your urinary tract.
diagnostics

Cystoscopy

diagnostics

Lab Test

TREATMENT FOR BLADDER CANCER

There are four types of treatment for patients with bladder cancer. These include:

  • Surgery
  • Intravesical chemotherapy or immunotherapy for non muscle invasive cancers
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy

Sometimes, combinations of these treatments will be used.

Bladder cancer often comes back. The new tumours can often be treated successfully if they are caught early. So it’s very important to have regular checkups after your treatment is done.

Finding out that you have cancer can change your life. You may feel like your world has turned upside down and you have lost all control. Talking with family, friends, or a counsellor can really help.

If you have blood in your urine (hematuria) or other signs or symptoms that worry you, make an appointment with our urologists to get it checked out.

The images and/or videos are not presented as a guarantee of result. The results may vary. Patients gave their consent for the publication of images and/or videos.

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At Steinberg Urology we pride ourselves on our compassionate care we offer to those facing challenges that affect their quality of life. Our urologists have years of experience and a commitment to excellence.

If you need to discuss this sensitive medical concern, schedule a consultation at our clinic in a safe confidential environment. Let us help you achieve optimal health and wellness in a professional setting.

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