The bladder is the organ that stores urine before it leaves the body. Bladder cancer is an abnormal growth of tissue in the bladder. The bladder wall is made of layers. Treatment of cancer depends on how much cancer has involved the layers of bladder or beyond it locally or spread within the body. Bladder cancer develops most often in people older than 50. Men have bladder cancer more often than women do.
Major Risk Factors for Bladder Cancer:
1. Smoking Tobacco
2. Workplace (Occupational) exposures like dyes, leather, rubber, paint industries
3. Genetic Factors (Family history of Bladder Cancer)
4. Chronic irritation of Bladder
5. Radiotherapy or chemotherapy to the pelvis
Signs/Symptoms of bladder cancer are as follows:
Diagnosis: Medical history, physical examination, blood and urine tests, imaging tests (like Ultrasound/CT scan) and cystoscopy guided biopsy is required for diagnosis and to accurately staging cancer.
Treatment Options: Treatments for bladder cancer depend on the stage of cancer and involves either one treatment or combination of treatments as below and decided by treating doctor.
1. Surgery to remove cancer: Procedure involved can be transurethral resection only or followed by cystectomy in case of the invasive tumour. Removal of the bladder (cystectomy) is a major undertaking wherein the whole of bladder along with accessory organs are removed. The surgeon may offer choices for reconstruction between neobladder (refashioning bladder with patient's gut and restoring normal passage for voiding) or ileal conduit (fashioning a stoma with gut, over which bag can be worn to collect urine). Following surgery, a regular follow up is required and the prognosis depends on the final histopathology stage.
2. Chemotherapy: In this method, medications are used to target and destroy cancer cells.
3. Radiation Therapy: It uses high energy X-Rays particles to destroy cancer cells in the body. It is used in adjunct to chemotherapy.
4. Immunotherapy: This uses medicines to help your own immune system destroy cancer cells.