Bladder cancer is an unusual growth or tumor arising from the lining of the bladder. The technical term for most bladder cancers is “transitional cell carcinoma.”
The normal bladder has a flat, smooth, shiny, watertight lining consisting of layers of cells tightly connected with each other. The lining of the bladder can be imagined to be like to the lining in the oral cavity (mouth). Underneath this lining is the muscle tissue of the bladder. The muscle is responsible for pushing out the urine at the time of voiding.
Bladder tumors almost always arise from the shiny bladder lining. The cells grow unusually fast causing a tumor to sprout up from the flatlining into a growth projecting into the interior of the bladder cavity. In general, tumors at this stage are not life-threatening. They generally do not cause any symptoms and remain unnoticed until an episode of bleeding into the urine. After an episode of bleeding into the urine, the patient should undergo an evaluation by a urologist. The urologist is generally called upon to look into the bladder with a cystoscope. The urologist may also order various types of X-ray studies. This type of testing is very successful at finding bladder tumors. After diagnosis, the patient usually undergoes biopsy and/or removal of the tumor. This procedure, called “transurethral resection of bladder tumor,” is accomplished using cystoscopes; therefore there are no surgical incisions. Depending on the amount of tissue that is removed as well as other factors, the process is either done on an outpatient basis or with a short hospital stay.
Smoking is the most significant risk factor for bladder cancer. Smokers are at least 3 times as likely to get bladder cancer as nonsmokers. Smoking reason about half of all bladder cancers in both men and women.
Urinary infections, kidney and bladder stones, bladder catheters left in place a long time, and other reason of chronic bladder irritation have been linked with bladder cancer (especially squamous cell carcinoma of the bladder), but it’s not clear if they actually cause bladder cancer.
Schistosomiasis (also known as bilharzias are), an infection with a parasitic worm that can get into the bladder, is also a risk factor for bladder cancer.
Risk factors you cannot change
Race and ethnicity
Indians have slightly lower rates of bladder cancer. The reasons for these differences are not well understood.
The risk of bladder cancer enlarges with age. About 9 out of 10 people with bladder cancer are older than 55.
Bladder cancer is much more ordinary in men than in womenLeave a reply