Bladder cancer is characterized by irregular growth of abnormal tissue (tumor) on the lining of the bladder. This type of cancer may spread to the surrounding tissues or other body parts as well.
What are the causes?
Bladder cancer can be caused by environment-related factors and smoking. In fact, smoking tobacco is one of the major causes of bladder cancer around the world. The chemicals present in tobacco can irritate the bladder lining which ultimately leads to bladder cancer. It may also be caused by continuous exposure to chemicals such as dyes or leather dust and radiation. These chemicals tend to cause unusual changes in the cells of the bladder lining and causes cancer in the bladder.
It can also be caused by modifications in the dna in the cells of the bladder which may impair the functioning of the cells in the body. This can cause mutations in the bladder resulting in cancer.
What are the symptoms?
1. Presence of blood in the urine, often painless
2. Feeling of pain while passing urine
3. Back pain
4. Excessive urination
5. Infections in the urinary tract
6. Lower leg swelling
7. Pain in the bones, especially in the pelvic area
8. Weight loss
Treatments for bladder cancer depend on the stage of the cancer. The various treatment choices are:
Surgery - In some cases, these cancers are surgically removed by a surgeon. A type of surgery used is transurethral resection of bladder tumor (turbt) where the cancer cells are destroyed with laser by passing a thin fiber into the bladder.
Chemotherapy - In this method, medications are used to target and destroy cancer cells.
Radiation therapy - Radiation therapy uses rays such as x-ray or uv rays to destroy cancer cells in the body
Immunotherapy - This treatment boosts the immune system of the body so that it attacks the cancerous cells in the bladder. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Urologist.