Bladder is a round and hollow organ like a balloon that is located in the lower part of the abdomen. Urine, which is a body waste produced in the kidney, enters the bladder through a tube called the urethra. These waste materials are excreted from the bladder and the body through a tube called the urethra. If cancer cells grow in the wall of the bladder, it causes bladder cancer. According to the studies, this disease is the most dangerous cancer of the urinary tract. Next, we will talk about this cancer in detail.
What are the causes of bladder cancer?
Bladder tumor is one of the most common tumors in the world, especially in the field of urology. This tumor is much more common in men. Maybe the reason for the higher prevalence in men is more smoking. There is a direct relationship between the number and years of smoking with the occurrence of bladder tumors. Even after stopping smoking, there is a risk of developing a bladder tumor for up to 15 years.
Other risk factors of bladder tumor are chemicals, printing and rubber industries. Long and continuous contact with these chemicals can cause bladder tumors. Other causes of this cancer include long-term urinary catheters, bladder stones, and microbial and parasitic infections of the bladder.
Types of bladder cancer:
1-Transitional cell bladder cancer
Transitional cell carcinoma is the most common type of bladder cancer. It begins in transitional cells in the inner layer of the bladder. Transitional cells are cells that change shape when the tissue is stretched without damage.
2-Squamous cell bladder cancer
Squamous cell carcinoma is a rare cancer in the United States. This disease begins when thin, flat squamous cells form in the bladder after a long-term infection or bladder irritation.
3-Adenocarcinoma bladder cancer
Adenocarcinoma is also a rare cancer in the United States. This disease begins when glandular cells form in the bladder after long-term irritation and inflammation of the bladder. Glandular cells form mucus-secreting glands in the body.
Diagnosing bladder cancer:
Cystoscopy performed on a woman
Female cystoscopy Open pop-up dialog box
Cystoscopy performed on a man
Male cystoscopy Open pop-up dialog box
Tests and procedures used to diagnose bladder cancer may include:
Using a scope to examine the inside of your bladder (cystoscopy). To perform cystoscopy, your doctor inserts a small, narrow tube (cystoscope) through your urethra. The cystoscope has a lens that allows your doctor to see the inside of your urethra and bladder, to examine these structures for signs of disease. Cystoscopy can be done in a doctor’s office or in the hospital.
Removing a sample of tissue for testing (biopsy). During cystoscopy, your doctor may pass a special tool through the scope and into your bladder to collect a cell sample (biopsy) for testing. This procedure is sometimes called transurethral resection of bladder tumor (TURBT). TURBT can also be used to treat bladder cancer.
Examining a urine sample (urine cytology). A sample of your urine is analyzed under a microscope to check for cancer cells in a procedure called urine cytology.
Imaging tests. Imaging tests, such as computerized tomography (CT) urogram or retrograde pyelogram, allow your doctor to examine the structures of your urinary tract.During a CT urogram, a contrast dye injected into a vein in your hand eventually flows into your kidneys, ureters and bladder. X-ray images taken during the test provide a detailed view of your urinary tract and help your doctor identify any areas that might be cancer.
Retrograde pyelogram is an X-ray exam used to get a detailed look at the upper urinary tract. During this test, your doctor threads a thin tube (catheter) through your urethra and into your bladder to inject contrast dye into your ureters. The dye then flows into your kidneys while X-ray images are captured.
Bladder cancer grade:
Bladder cancers are further classified based on how the cancer cells appear when viewed through a microscope. This is known as the grade, and your doctor may describe bladder cancer as either low grade or high grade:
– Low-grade bladder cancer. This type of cancer has cells that are closer in appearance and organization to normal cells (well differentiated). A low-grade tumor usually grows more slowly and is less likely to invade the muscular wall of the bladder than is a high-grade tumor.
– High-grade bladder cancer. This type of cancer has cells that are abnormal-looking and that lack any resemblance to normal-appearing tissues (poorly differentiated). A high-grade tumor tends to grow more aggressively than a low-grade tumor and may be more likely to spread to the muscular wall of the bladder and other tissues and organs.
Treatment of bladder cance
Treatment options for bladder cancer depend on a number of factors, including the type of cancer, grade of the cancer and stage of the cancer, which are taken into consideration along with your overall health and your treatment preferences.
Bladder cancer treatment may include:
– Surgery to remove the tumor and remove a part of the bladder: When a larger part of the bladder is involved in cancer, the doctor must also remove the cancerous part of the bladder when removing the tumor. It should be noted that the removal of a part of the bladder is done when there is no damage to the functions of the bladder. The method of performing the surgery is that the doctor sees the cancerous tumor using an endoscope and destroys the cancerous cells using electric current. In some cases, high pressure laser can be used instead of electric current. The patient may feel burning urine or bloody urine after this procedure, which is completely normal.
– Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is used to kill cancer cells. Usually, in bladder chemotherapy, two or more drugs are used at the same time, which may be directly entered into the bladder or injected into a vein.
Chemotherapy in the bladder (intravesical chemotherapy), to treat cancers that are confined to the lining of the bladder but have a high risk of recurrence or progression to a higher stage.
Chemotherapy for the whole body (systemic chemotherapy), to increase the chance for a cure in a person having surgery to remove the bladder, or as a primary treatment when surgery isn’t an option.
-Radiation therapy, to destroy cancer cells, often as a primary treatment when surgery isn’t an option or isn’t desired.
-Immunotherapy, to trigger the body’s immune system to fight cancer cells, either in the bladder or throughout the body.
-Targeted therapy, to treat advanced cancer when other treatments haven’t helped.