What is bladder cancer?
Bladder cancer is the abnormal enlargement of cells that make up the bladder.
How common is bladder cancer?
Bladder cancer is answerable for approximately 3% of all malignancies diagnosed in Australia each year. It is more common in men than women and typically affects those over 60 years of age. Smoking is the biggest risk reason.
What are the symptoms of bladder cancer?
Bladder cancer at an early stage of enlargement may not produce any noticeable signs or symptoms. Common signs of bladder cancer include haematuria , which is generally painless and may appear only from time to time over a few months, a burning sensation during urination and a need to urinate often.
When bladder cancer cause noticeable symptoms, they are generally related to the irritation brought about by tumour growth. Irritable symptoms include urination that is frequent, urgent, painful or difficult.
If a bladder tumour blocks a urethra, patients may experience pain in the side of the body between the ribs and the top of the hip. In some cases, tumour growth may constrict the urethra and slow the flow of the urine. Bladder cancers may also shed pieces of dead tissue, fragments of other tissue and other forms of tumour-related matter that are then passed out with the urine.
If the tumour has spread beyond the bladder to the surrounding tissue, you may knowledge pelvic pain, bone pain at the site of the new cancer, leg swelling (edema) due to the involvement of lymph nodes, loss of weight and fatigue. Anemia and high blood levels of urea and other metabolic by-products, often due to urinary tract obstruction, may be further indications of late-stage bladder cancer.
Since such symptoms are also reason by bacterial infections and kidney stones, it is essential to see your doctor for an accurate diagnosis.
How is bladder cancer diagnosed?
When you experience symptoms of bladder cancer, your doctor will conduct physical examinations in order to formulate an exact diagnosis. Other tests such as cystoscopy biopsy and intravenouspyelogram (dye is injected and traced with CT).
How is bladder cancer treated?
Bladder cancer can be treated with surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. A number of treatments may be used in conjunction with each other. The choice of treatments depends on a number of factors, including age, generally health and the extent and stage of the tumour. Discuss this with your doctor to ascertain the most appropriate course of treatment for you.