BLADDER CANCER OVERVIEW
According to the American Cancer Society, there will be approximately 79,000 new cases of bladder cancer diagnosed, and over 16,000 deaths from bladder cancer each year. It is the 4th most common cancer in men, with men about three or four times more likely to develop bladder cancer compared to women. Bladder cancer is very treatable, and there a more than 500,000 people in the United States that are bladder cancer survivors. There are two main types of bladder cancer:
- Non-Muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer - cancer that forms in the lining of the bladder. Makes up more than 75% of diagnosed cases, with a very high survival rate.
- Muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer - cancer that penetrated the layers of bladder muscles. It is likely to spread to other parts of the body, but is treatable.
Learn more about the treatments available for bladder cancer, treatment options, and more by clicking the links below.
- Signs and Symptoms
- Causes and Risk Factors
- Treating Bladder Cancer
- Radiation Therapy Options
- Bladder Cancer Resources
Signs and Symptoms Of Bladder Cancer
Since the bladder is responsible for collecting, storing, and evacuating urine from our body, most signs and symptoms of bladder cancer are connected to the urination process. Some signs and symptoms of early stages of bladder cancer include:
- Blood in the urine
- More frequent urination
- Pain or burning during urination
- A sensation of needing to urinate, even with an empty bladder
- Difficulty urinating or a weak urine stream
If you are suffering from any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with your doctor right away. He or she may suggest a screening for bladder cancer.
CAUSES AND RISK FACTORS
In some cases of bladder cancer, the cause is unclear and symptoms are minimal. However, there are some core causes that you can avoid to decrease your risk. Avoid smoking and using other forms of tobacco, and do your best to avoid overexposure to chemicals and radiation.
Chronic bladder inflammation can occur in certain individuals, such as those that use a catheter for a long period of time, which increases the risk of a squamous cell bladder cancer. Some parasitic infections, are another risk factor for bladder cancer.
HOW BLADDER CANCER IS TREATED
If caught early, bladder cancer can often be cured through professional cancer treatment. The best treatment option for a patient depends on the type and stage of the bladder cancer, as well as their overall personal health. The main treatment options for bladder cancer are:
- Radiation Therapy - provided by a radiation oncologist. Uses concentrated doses of radiation that are directed at the affected area of the bladder. Radiation therapy kills cancer cells, prevents spreading, and preserves more healthy tissue.
- Surgery - for non-invasive forms of bladder cancer, a surgeon can potentially remove the tumor. For invasive bladder cancer, it may be necessary to remove part of the bladder. This treatment is provided by a urologist or a surgical oncologist.
- Chemotherapy - uses various types of medication that target and kill cancer cells in the bladder. The types of medication can vary, and will depend on the type and stage of bladder cancer. The dosage, frequency, and types of drugs will be determined by a medical oncologist.
- Biologic Therapy (Immunotherapy)- Instead of using medication to kill cancer cells, biologic therapy uses drugs that stimulate and enhance the immune system and its ability to naturally fight off cancer cells.
In the past, the only way to treat bladder cancer was to surgically remove the bladder. With advancements in cancer treatment technology and procedures, there are now more options for treatment that have the ability to preserve the organs and healthy tissue.
Contact Us For More Information About Bladder Cancer
If you have any questions about bladder cancer, signs and symptoms, and the treatment options available to patients, just contact us at the Northeastern Radiation Oncology Center here in Elko, NV. We provide radiation therapy treatment for those suffering from bladder cancer and other types of cancer. You and your loved ones deserve only the best in cancer care, and you can be confident that with us, we’ll provide the kind of care that you deserve.
BLADDER CANCER RESOURCES
Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network
Also see Helpful Links
*Content provided by the American Society for Radiation Oncology, www.rtanswers.org, and the American Cancer Society.