Any type of cancer development is characterized by an unusual and abnormal multiplication of cells. The main reason for this unusual activity of cells is the absence of an important property in cancerous cells known as contact inhibition. This property of normal cells helps them to seize their growth and multiplication as they get in touch with other cells. As you may have guessed it already, cancerous cells move forwards to grow even after getting in contact with the other cells. This makes this growth abnormal. Even in bladder cancer, the cancerous cells lack this property due to which an aggregation of cancerous cells develops on this organ and we call this aggregation cancer.
What is a bladder?
A urinary bladder is a pouch-like organ that holds the urine until the body is ready to get rid of it. it is located within the lower pelvis and rests on the pelvis floor. Although the volume of the bladder varies from person to person, generally it can hold 400 to 1000 ml of urine. The muscle of the bladder is made up of specialized tissue known as urothelium which is known for its elastic nature. Urine in the bladder comes from the kidneys via ureters. The neck of the bladder is in continuation with the proximal urethra which is a canal for the transportation of urine from the bladder to the external urinary organ from where the urine exits the body.
Are there any types of bladder cancer?
Bladder cancer is a general term that only defines the abnormal growth of cells in the bladder. However, in order to start a treatment of this cancer, the doctors must know the exact location and nature of cancer. For this, there are types of bladder cancer:
Based on location
As there are different layers of the bladder made of different types of cells, cancer can start in any one of these cells. The type of bladder cancer signifies the specific type of cells which are affected in the bladder.
- Urothelial bladder cancer
This is the most common type of bladder cancer and starts in the cells which make up the inner lining of the bladder. Cancer in this layer may or may not spread in the deeper layers of the bladder depending upon the nature of the cancer.
- Some rare types
Squamous cell bladder cancer, adenocarcinoma, and sarcomas are some of the rare types of bladder cancer and affect the outer skin like tissue of the bladder, some mucus-producing cells in the moist outer tissue, and the muscle of the bladder respectively.
Based on the nature of bladder cancer
The treatment of this cancer also depends on the area inside the bladder lining which has been affected by it. To describe that area, there are types of balder cancer based on the nature of it.
- Muscle-invasive bladder cancer
This type of cancer constitutes some urothelial tumors that grow deep inside the lining or even beyond the layers of the bladder.
- Non-muscle invasive bladder cancer
This type of bladder cancer is localized to the lining of the bladder and requires less drastic treatment options to get treated.
Are there any known bladder cancer causes?
The exact aetiology of bladder cancer is still a matter of research. However, there are some speculations related to the factors which may start this cancer or stimulate the cause of it. Some of these factors are:
- Smoking cigarettes is considered one of the main reasons for bladder cancer. If we had to make a list of risk factors for this cancer, smoking would undoubtedly to that list.
- Some people remain at a high exposure to the toxins used in chemical industries. These toxins can contain carcinogenic substances that can directly or indirectly induce cancer in the bladder
- Genetics play an important role in bladder cancer development for people who have a family history of this disease. Some common genetic variants are of GAT and NAT genes which are passed from parents to offspring and cause this cancer.
- People above the age of 65 also remain at high risk of this type of cancer development
- Some other conditions such as high sugar can activate a pathway that leads to bladder cancer in some patients.
How do I do if I have bladder cancer?
Just like kidney cancer, tumors in the bladder are often diagnosed accidentally during some other tests. This is due to the lack of prevalent symptoms of this condition. However, some of the bladder cancer symptoms which develop in some patients are as follows:
- Painless Hematuria
- Difficulty in urination
- The itchy feeling while urinating
- Abdominal pain
Hematuria is the most common symptom among these when it comes to cancer in the bladder and is characterized by the presence of blood in the urine. You should always seek immediate medical attention if this symptom becomes apparent.
Bladder cancer treatment options
The treatment of bladder cancer starts with a proper diagnosis of this condition in which the doctor categorizes the type and severity of your condition. Some of the diagnostic methods are:
- Urine analysis
- Urine cytology
- Full blood count
After the diagnosis of this cancer, treatment is started for the patient. The treatment and management of bladder cancer heavily depend upon on if the tumor has invaded the bladder muscle layer or not.
In non-muscle invasive bladder cancer, treatment options include
- TURBT is the resection of a tumor from the lining of the bladder
- Intravascular chemotherapy
- Cystectomy, which is the removal of the bladder
For muscle-invasive carcinoma, treatment options are
- Neoadjuvant chemotherapy prior to surgery
- Surgery involving radical cystectomy
- Urinary diversion
You need an expert bladder cancer specialist doctor in order to choose the best treatment option for your bladder cancer. This is very important because the diagnosis of this condition should be made by extremely expert hands as your treatment depends only on it.
A urologist is a doctor who can make an accurate diagnosis of bladder cancer and then choose the best bladder cancer treatment option for you. In order to execute this diagnosis and treatment, you must have a professional urologist, like Dr. Dushyant Pawar, as your doctor. Apart from understanding your bladder cancer symptoms, your doctor should have expertise in robotic surgery to perform the surgery, if needed.
To get in touch with the urologist you need for your bladder cancer, contact us now: Dr. Dushyant Pawar