Carcinoma of the Bladder

Mostly diagnosed in people over the age of 65, bladder cancers symptoms are painless blood loss in the urine. The most common known risk factor is smoking.

What is it?

The bladder stores urine (previously filtered by the kidneys), any by contractions it discharges from the body. The bladder`s inner surface is furnished whit a special cell layer which protect the bladder from irritation caused by the urine. When cancer of the bladder strikes, these special sells proliferate in an uncontrollable manner and overcome the healthy cells.

What are the symptoms?

Bladder cancer generally manifests with symptoms of painless blood loss in the urine. However this blood loss is too small to be seen with the naked eye, being visible at a microscopic level. Sometimes it is possible to identify it in a blood tests performed for other reasons. Under very rare circumstances, the burning feeling encountered when urinating and the same unknown urination complaints may be tied to bladder cancer. Nowadays, however, a scanning test is carried out to scan for detecting bladder cancer.

What are the risk factors?

Smoking is known to be most the important risk factor. The incidence of bladder cancer is twice as high among smokers (than among non-smokers). The lungs of people dwelling in smoky environments suck in chemicals leading to cancer and mix those into the bloodstream, where they are filtered before passing into the bladder. These chemicals therefore have a cancerous effect on the bladder cells.

Occupational risk factors: People employed in processing chemicals such as benzidine and beta-napthylamine (used in the dyeing industry), people working whit rubber and leather, textile manufacturers, employees in printing house, painters, hairdressers, are all at risk, as well as machinists and lorry drivers. Occupational risk factors raise the risk noticeably when they are combined whit smoking.

Other risk factors: Bladder cancer is mostly seen in those over age of 65. It is four times more common among men than women. Chronic urinary infection, factors causing chronic irritation in the bladder such as kidney of bladder stones, rarely seen congenital bladder defects, insufficient liquid intake, a family history bladder cancer, previous having been subject to chemotherapy or radiotherapy and existence of arsenic in drinking water are also among the risk factors.

What are the methods of diagnosis?

In the event of blood loss in the urine, a tumor is examined by the use of modern imaging methods. Urine cytopathology is also performed to assist the diagnosis. However, at bladder tumor diagnostics, such examinations are of little value. The most effective diagnostics valuable method is cystoscopy. It is  performed following the imaging methods. Cystoscopy, in which the bladder is monitored via a thin, illuminated device passed through the urinary tract, can be assisted by biopsy of suspicious tissues, if necessary. During cystoscopy, pathological diagnosis and treatment are provided at the same time, as tumor formation are removable. Additional therapy may be required depending on the pathological result of the removed tissues.

How is it treated?

The extent of cancer and its stage is determined by pathology. A decision is carried out on the treatment method, depending on the level and the stage of the disorder. Provided the cancer has not spread to the bladder`s  muscular tissue and provided it is still at a low level of development cystoscopy and TURM (cleaning of the tumor whit the closed method) performed at the same suffice. Later on, patients are tested on a regular basis with cystoscopy. Follow up is important because the superficial bladder tumor may reappear in 75% of instances during in the first two years.

At high levels of bladder tumors, some medication might be administered to the bladder. In cases where the cancer has spread to the muscle tissue, but has not yet spread to the lymphatic gland and organs, treatment is performed under the radical cystomy method. With this treatment , the bladder, the prostate and the surrounding adenoids are removed. For the purpose of storing the patient`s urine, a new bladder made up of intestines is directly placed under the skin. Patients`s treatment may be practiced surgically, or with radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Chemotherapy is the preferred option as a systematic treatment for metastatic illnesses (when the cancer spreads to other organs or to the adenoids), intended for the whole body.



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