Bladder Cancer: Causes, Symptoms, Types, and Prevention.....!

Sudarshan Kendre
12 Jun 2023 5:21 AM GMT
Bladder Cancer: Causes, Symptoms, Types, and Prevention.....!

Bladder Cancer: Causes, Symptoms, Types, and Prevention.....!

Bladder cancer is a prevalent form of cancer that originates in the cells of the bladder, a hollow muscular organ located in the lower abdomen responsible for storing urine. The most common type of bladder cancer starts in the urothelial cells that line the inner surface of the bladder. While urothelial cancer can also occur in the kidneys and ureters, it is predominantly found in the bladder.

Female urinary system Image

Early-stage bladder cancers are typically diagnosed at a highly treatable stage. However, even after successful treatment, there is a possibility of recurrence. Therefore, individuals with bladder cancer usually undergo follow-up tests for several years post-treatment to monitor any signs of recurrence.

Male urinary system Image

• Symptoms of bladder cancer may include:

1. Blood in the urine (hematuria): The urine may appear bright red or cola-colored, but sometimes, blood may only be detected through lab tests while the urine appears normal.

2. Frequent urination

3. Painful urination

4. Back pain

If you observe discolored urine or experience any other concerning signs or symptoms, it is important to consult a doctor for evaluation.

• Causes of bladder cancer:

Bladder cancer typically develops when cells in the bladder undergo changes or mutations in their DNA. The DNA of a cell contains instructions that govern its functioning. The mutations instruct the cells to multiply rapidly and survive beyond their normal lifespan, leading to the formation of an abnormal tumor that can invade and destroy surrounding tissues. Over time, these abnormal cells can break away from the tumor and spread to other parts of the body, a process known as metastasis.

• Types of bladder cancer:

The type of bladder cell affected determines the type of bladder cancer, which helps doctors determine the most suitable treatment options. The various types of bladder cancer include:

1. Urothelial carcinoma: This type, previously known as transitional cell carcinoma, arises in the cells that line the bladder's inner surface. Urothelial cells expand when the bladder is full and contract during emptying. These same cells also line the ureters and urethra, and cancer can develop in these locations as well. Urothelial carcinoma is the most prevalent form of bladder cancer in the United States.

2. Squamous cell carcinoma: Squamous cell carcinoma is associated with chronic bladder irritation, such as from infections or long-term urinary catheter use. This type of bladder cancer is rare in the United States but more common in regions where a parasitic infection called schistosomiasis frequently causes bladder infections.

3. Adenocarcinoma: Adenocarcinoma originates in the mucus-secreting glands within the bladder. This type of bladder cancer is extremely rare.

It's worth noting that some bladder cancers may involve more than one type of cell.

• Risk factors for bladder cancer:

Several factors can increase the risk of developing bladder cancer:

1. Smoking: The chemicals in cigarettes, cigars, or pipes can accumulate in the urine, potentially damaging the bladder lining and increasing the risk of cancer.

2. Increasing age: While bladder cancer can occur at any age, it is more prevalent in individuals over the age of 55.

3. Gender: Men are more susceptible to bladder cancer than women.

4. Exposure to certain chemicals: Certain chemicals used in the manufacturing of dyes, rubber, leather, textiles, paint products, and exposure to arsenic have been linked to an increased risk of bladder cancer.

5. Previous cancer treatment: Treatment with the anti-cancer drug cyclophosphamide and radiation therapy targeting the pelvis for a prior cancer can elevate the risk of bladder cancer.

6. Chronic bladder inflammation: Chronic or recurrent urinary infections or inflammations, including those resulting from long-term urinary catheter use, can increase the risk of squamous cell bladder cancer, especially in regions where the parasitic infection schistosomiasis is prevalent.

7. Personal or family history of cancer: Individuals with a history of bladder cancer are more likely to develop it again. While bladder cancer rarely runs in families, a family history of Lynch syndrome (hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer) can elevate the risk of cancer in the urinary system and other organs.

• Prevention of bladder cancer:

Although there are no foolproof methods to prevent bladder cancer, certain steps can help reduce the risk:

1. Avoid smoking: If you are a non-smoker, refrain from starting, and if you smoke, consult your doctor for assistance in quitting. Support groups, medications, and various strategies are available to aid smoking cessation.

2. Exercise caution around chemicals: If your occupation involves working with chemicals, follow all safety guidelines to minimize exposure.

3. Emphasize a balanced diet: Incorporate a wide variety of colorful fruits and vegetables into your diet. The antioxidants present in these foods may help lower the risk of cancer.

In conclusion, bladder cancer is a common form of cancer that originates in the cells lining the bladder. Understanding the symptoms, types, causes, and risk factors associated with bladder cancer can help individuals recognize potential signs and take necessary precautions. While complete prevention may not be possible, adopting a healthy lifestyle, avoiding smoking, and minimizing exposure to harmful chemicals can contribute to reducing the risk of bladder cancer.

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Sudarshan Kendre

Sudarshan Kendre

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