Bladder Cancer refers to a set of malignant tumors that affect the human urinary bladder which is the hallow organ at the lower pelvis. The human bladder normally collects and stores the urine fluid produced by the kidney organs. Usually, the muscular wall of the bladder expands when the organ is filled with urine. When it reaches the right capacity, the walls of the bladder normally contrasts. The urine can then be discharged through the bladder when the individual visits the rest room. In most cases, the urine flows through urethra which is a narrow tube in the urinary system.
Now, the Bladder Cancer occurs when the cells in the bladder multiply and grow uncontrollably. During the process of multiplication, the cells form malignant tumors which can be very irritating to the individual involved. As the cells continue to multiply, the tumors increase in size and also constitute serious complications if left untreated. In most cases, the tumors overpower the surrounding tissues of the bladder, block their spaces and also impair their normal functions. If left untreated, the tumors can easily extend to other vital organs of the reproductive system thereby putting the individual into great discomfort. This process of spreading to other organs is medically known as metastasis. The cancer can easily spread to the kidney, liver, lungs, bones and other internal body organs.
Types of Bladder Cancer
Bladder Cancer showcases in three major forms namely, Urothelial Carcinoma, Adenocarcinoma and Squamous Cell Carcinoma.
The Urothelial Carcinoma very common and it’s seen mainly in the lives of US citizens. It’s also known as transitional cell carcinoma. The cells form at the innermost lining of the bladder wall. They normally undergo transitions but they keep growing and multiplying uncontrollably.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma is the second type of Bladder Cancer. The tumors here are usually thin and flat. They showcase when the bladder undergoes inflammation for a long period.
Adenocarcinoma refers to tumors that emanate from the glands cells. The glands usually have the function of producing and releasing the mucus fluids.
These three kinds of Bladder Cancer showcase in the lives of many individuals all over the world. They account for the several cases of cancers seen in the lives of many individuals. They can easily develop anywhere within and around the human bladder.
Meanwhile some physicians have also come up with another classification of Bladder Cancer. They classified it into two major types namely, superficial and Invasive Bladder Cancers. The superficial type mainly forms in the innermost linings of the bladder which comprise of the lamina Propria and the Mucosa. On the other hand, the Invasive bladder cancer usually forms at the muscular layer of the bladder wall. Basically, Squamous and Adenocarcinoma bladder cancers are said to be invasive since they invade the inner linings of the bladder while the Urothelial Cell Carcinomas are said to be superficial since they affect the mucosa or superficial layer of the bladder.
There are known causes of Bladder Cancer. Let’s take a look at the possible causes.
• Tobacco Smoking
Smoking cigarettes can easily lead to the cancer of the bladder especially when the habit has become chronic in your system. A lot of the carcinogens in the human bladder are direct after-effects of cigarette smoke. It’s generally believed that smokers have the greatest risk of developing bladder cancers as well as lung cancers.
• Exposure to Chemical Particles
If you’re always exposed to chemical particles at the place of your work, there’s ever possibility that you can develop Bladder Cancer. This has always been the bane of many people who work in big industries where all kinds of chemicals are used for manufacturing products. In most cases, organic chemicals also referred to as aromatic amines are known for causing the cancer of the bladder when you come in contact with them.
• Diet and Supplements
Some kinds of diets that are loaded with animal fats and fried meats may lead to Bladder Cancer when taken regularly. There are also some supplements that can lead to the same disease. Some dietary supplements used for weight loss do contain certain ingredients that may lead to the cancer of the bladder when taken regularly.
The above discussed causes of Bladder Cancer can be controlled. You can stop smoking if you’re determined. You can equally stop working in industries where chemicals are used for manufacturing. Your diet can be changed to suit your needs. However, there are other factors of Bladder Cancer which you can’t do anything about. Let’s take a look at them.
Elderly people who have reached the age of 60 and above can easily develop the cancer of the bladder because of changes in their body systems.
The white race is usually at a higher risk of developing the bladder cancer than the black and other races.
Men are more likely to develop the cancer of the bladder than the womenfolk.
• Medical History of Bladder Cancer
If you’ve had a case of bladder cancer in the past, you still stand the risk of having it again since the disease can still rebound back even after treatment.
• Severe Bladder Inflammation
If you do have severe bladder inflammation and other bladder problems such as bladder stones, infections and irritation, you stand the risk of having Bladder Cancer.
• Birth Defects
Many people born with all kinds of defects on their bladders have high risks of developing bladder cancer and other diseases associated with the bladder organ.
Bladder Cancer comes with real symptoms. Among them include
• Blood in the urine
• Difficulty in urination
• Frequent urination
• Change in urine color
These symptoms enumerated above are not only common with bladder cancer. They can as well showcase when you have urinary tract infections and other related diseases. However, when you have blood in the urine constantly, it’s usually a clear indication of the presence of cancer in your bladder. To be on safer side, you have to consult your doctor when any of these symptoms begins to showcase.
The most dangerous thing about Bladder Cancer is that the symptoms may not even show steadily until the cancer develops to a very dangerous level. Hence, it’ always important you go for regular checkup in order to decode the disease at its initial level.
Bladder Cancer can be treated when it’s discovered at its initial stages. If the disease is left undiscovered, it may prove difficult to be treated by any means. Well, the treatment journey for the cancer begins with proper diagnosis. You have to know the right time to seek for medical help. When you begin to notice any unusual symptom in your urinary system, you have to run to the doctor for proper checkup.
The treatment usually commences with special tests and examination. Proper screening is usually carried out by the medical professional handling the case. Among the normal kinds of screening tests usually engaged include cytology, urinalysis and cystoscopy.
Medical interviews and physical examinations can also be carried out by the doctor. You might be interviewed concerning your medical history and eating habit. The doctor may also insert a gloved finger inside your rectum or vagina in order to discover the tumors.
CTscan and other forms of x-rays can also be conducted in order to determine the actual stage of the cancer in your system. Urine test may also be performed in order to discover the reality of the cancer as well. Ultrasound and Bone Scan may also be carried out if there’s a need for that.
After the process of diagnosis, the next phase in the treatment journey is known as “Staging”. The medical professional tries to classify the Bladder Cancer according to its stage at the moment of diagnosis. The staging is usually based on the image results seen through the CTscan, ultrasound and other x-rays used in the process.
When the staging process is over, the actual treatment commences. The urologist or medical professional handling the case has to engage the right medical approach that can help in dealing with the situation. Among the various treatment methods that can be used include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and immunotherapy. The stage of the Bladder Cancer determines the right treatment approach that can be used for it. The doctor also decides on the right approach to take.
From the above, it’s very clear that Bladder Cancer can be extremely dangerous. Many people have lost their lives as a result of the diseases. One ugly thing about the cancer is that it can defile all treatment options especially when discovered very late. In most cases, the symptoms don’t even show on time. Hence, prevention is the best means of dealing with the disease. You have to avoid smoking at all cost. You also need to check the kind of diet you eat.
Finally, you have to be going for regular medical checkup from time to time in order to forestall any incidence of cancer that may afflict your body system.