The cancer of the bladder (an organ in the pelvic region that stores urine) is known as bladder cancer. This cancer begins in the cells that line the inner portion of the bladder. Though it usually affects the aged, bladder cancer can develop in people across other age groups as well. It is important to undergo frequent check-ups even after the condition has been cured, as there always remain chances of a relapse.
There are three types of bladder cancer:
1. Squamous cell carcinoma: Squamous cells appear in the bladder in response to any infection, which, with time, can become cancerous.
2. Transitional cell carcinoma: These cells are present in the lining of the bladder. They contract when the bladder is empty and expand when it is full. These cells are also found in the urethra, hence there are chances for the cancer to develop in the urethra as well.
3. Adenocarcinoma: Adenocarcinoma forms in the mucus secreting cells in the bladder.
The symptoms of bladder cancer are:
1. You may urinate frequently
2. Frequent backaches
3. You may experience pain during urination
4. Pain in the pelvic region
There is no known cause of bladder cancer. However, certain factors such as smoking, infection and exposure to chemicals are known to trigger it. The risk factors of bladder cancer are:
1. Age: The risk of bladder cancer increases with age, it usually affects people who are above 40 years of age.
2. Smoking: Smoking releases toxins in the body that get stored in the urine. These can damage the inner lining of the bladder and lead to bladder cancer.
3. Gender: Men are more likely to develop bladder cancer as compared to women.
4. Chemical exposure: Exposure to certain chemicals such as arsenic increases your risk of bladder cancer.
5. Chronic inflammation of the bladder: If you suffer from chronic infection of the bladder, then the risk of squamous cell carcinoma increases significantly. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Urologist.