The bladder cancer is not one of the cancers that receives a lot of publicity. It is often overshadowed by the “big” cancers like breast, ovarian, prostate, lung and skin cancers, and not without reason: Breast cancer accounts for 12% of cancer diagnoses, 1 in 4 people, just In the US they will suffer from lung cancer in their lifetime, and 40-50% of those who reach the age of 65 will have some type of skin cancer, compared to the bladder, which makes only 5% of all new cancers.
Still, the 5% is still a large number of people. The Cancer Society expects nearly 80,000 new cases of bladder cancer in 2017, and it remains the fourth most common cancer in men. Despite this, a higher percentage of women diagnosed with bladder cancer are expected to die for this reason. This is more likely because bladder cancer symptoms can often be misinterpreted for other conditions.
It is important for men and women to understand the symptoms of bladder cancer and how the disease works so they can detect it early or prevent it.
Table of Contents
What is bladder cancer?
Sometimes the cells in the bladder change and do not grow or behave the way they are supposed to. These changes happen more often than you might realize, and they don’t always lead to cancer. Some of these include:
- Non-cancerous diseases such as urinary tract infections (UTIs) and kidney stones.
- Benign tumors such as a papilloma or a fibroid.
Unfortunately, these changes can lead to malignant tumors and cancer.
Types of bladder cancer.
More than 90% of all bladder cancers begin in the urothelium, which lines the inside of the bladder, ureters, urethra, and renal pelvis. This is called urothelial carcinoma, or transitional cell carcinoma. There are several other, rarer types of tumors, each with its own unique causes and characteristics.
There are many ways to classify bladder cancer, however, one of the most important is to differentiate between non-invasive and invasive.
Non-invasive bladder cancer.
This type of bladder cancer occurs only in cells of the urothelium and treatment is more likely to be successful.
Invasive bladder cancer.
This occurs when cancer spreads to the connective tissues or muscles of the bladder wall. This will typically be seen in the later stages of bladder cancer.
Treatment for bladder cancer.
Treatments for bladder cancer vary depending on the grade, stage, and category of the cancer, as well as the individual himself. Currently, the main treatment methods for bladder cancer are:
The surgery might remove only the tumor or tumor and a small part of the bladder; however, it can also remove the entire bladder along with the surgery to create a new way for the body to release urine. This could include a catheter so you can urinate more normally or a urostomy bag attached to the body. Both can be difficult to carry mentally and emotionally for most people, and can have a huge impact on how life is lived. however, nothing that can’t be beat.
10 signs and symptoms of bladder cancer.
The symptoms of bladder cancer are divided into two groups: early and late. The first symptoms of bladder cancer:
- Blood in the urine (all the time or intermittently).
- Frequent or frequent urge to urinate.
- Strong or sudden urgent need to urinate.
- Difficulty urinating.
- Burning sensation or pain when urinating.
Late symptoms of bladder cancer:
- Loss of appetite.
- Weight loss.
- Changes in bowel habits.
- Lump in the pelvis.
- Swelling in the legs, scrotum (for men), or vulva (for women).
- Pain in the rectum, anus, pelvis, flank (side), above the pubic bone or in the bones.
The difficulty in detecting bladder cancer symptoms is that they can mimic those of other health conditions, and you may not notice them at first. A woman, for example, may initially think that she is experiencing PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome) or has contracted a UTI (Urinary Tract Infection). If you notice even one of these symptoms, pay attention to the others and speak to your doctor immediately.
How to prevent bladder cancer?
As always, it is much easier to prevent cancer than to treat it. Although some risk factors, such as age, being Caucasian, being male, or having a bladder-related birth defect are unalterable, many of the other elements that increase the chances of developing bladder cancer are related to toxins and toxic accumulation in the body and bladder.
This includes exposure to environmental and occupational chemicals and toxins, exposure to radiation (especially from previous cancer treatments), chronic bladder infections and irritations, as well as air pollution, pesticides, hairdressing, and certain medications against cancer and diabetes.
Do not smoke.
Smoking introduces thousands of cancer-causing chemicals into your body. Not only should you not smoke, but you should also avoid spending time with people who do.
Reduce or avoid exposure to chemicals.
Some jobs require the use or daily contact with dangerous chemicals. Make sure you always take proper safety precautions when handling them, such as wearing protective clothing and masks that filter the air. You can also limit exposure by substituting chemical-filled beauty products, makeup, cleaning supplies, and processed foods with natural alternatives.
Drink a lot of water.
Drinking plenty of water throughout the day dilutes urine and increases urinary output. This means that you will be regularly filtering and removing toxins from the kidneys, giving them less time to settle in the bladder and cause damage.
Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables.
Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables ensures that you will have a high intake of fiber and antioxidants, excellent cancer fighters. Fiber will help maintain regular bowel movements, and antioxidants will destroy free radicals before they can cause cancer. Try to choose organic produce whenever possible to further limit exposure to pesticides and toxins.
Detecting and preventing cancer can be challenging, and we often get so caught up in our everyday lives that we stop paying attention to our bodies and what they are trying to tell us. It is crucial that we all remain committed to our health, and that we go to see a doctor the moment we think there may be something wrong.
In this case, you may simply be suffering from a urinary infection or kidney stones, but if it is bladder cancer, the earlier it is detected, the better.