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About Bladder Cancer
Bladder cancer develops in the tissues of the bladder, which is the organ that stores pee in the body. In most cases, hematuria (blood in the urine) is the initial symptom of bladder cancer. Bladder cancer usually starts in the bladder’s inner lining, which retains urine after it passes through the kidneys. The majority of bladder cancers are detected early on when therapies are most effective and the illness has not progressed beyond the bladder. However, because bladder cancer is prone to recurrence, it is critical to have frequent check-ups.
There may be enough blood in the urine to turn it orange, pink, or dark red. When a urine test (urinalysis) is performed because of other symptoms or as part of a regular medical check-up, tiny quantities of blood may be discovered despite the colour of the urine being normal.
If you find blood in your urine, even if it is intermittent, you should see your doctor so that the cause may be determined.
Causes of Bladder Cancer
The majority of instances of bladder cancer appear to be caused by long-term exposure to toxic chemicals that produce aberrant alterations in the bladder’s cells. It happens when aberrant cells expand rapidly and uncontrolled, causing them to infiltrate other tissues. Smoking raises your chances of developing bladder cancer. In both men and women, smoking causes 50% of all bladder malignancies. You’re more likely to have bladder cancer if you have the following factors:
● Exposure to carcinogens
● Bladder infections that last a long time
● Low fluid consumption
● Being male
● Being white
● Being older, since bladder cancer affects the majority of persons over the age of 55
● A high-fat diet
● Family history of bladder cancer
● Previous treatment with chemotherapy drug, Cytoxan
● Previously having radiation therapy to treat cancer in the pelvic area
Symptoms of Bladder Cancer
Haematuria is the medical term for blood in the urine, and it is typically painless. You may observe blood streaks in your urine or discover that the blood has turned your pee brown. The blood isn’t always visible, and it may appear and disappear.
Less common symptoms of bladder cancer include:
● a need to urinate on a more frequent basis
● sudden urges to urinate
● a burning sensation when passing urine
If bladder cancer reaches an advanced stage and has spread, symptoms can include:
● Pelvic pain
● Bone pain
● Unintentional weight loss
● Swelling of the legs
Prevention and Screening
Because doctors don’t yet know what causes bladder cancer, it may not be preventable in all cases. The following factors and behaviours can reduce your risk of getting bladder cancer:
● Not smoking
● Avoiding secondhand cigarette smoke
● Avoiding other carcinogenic chemicals
● Drinking plenty of water
Your doctor may diagnose bladder cancer using one or more of the following methods:
● A urinalysis
● An internal examination in which your doctor uses gloved fingers to feel for lumps that might signal a malignant development in your vaginal or rectum areas
● A cystoscopy. In order to look within your bladder, your doctor will put a tiny tube with a small camera into your urethra.
● A biopsy where your doctor inserts a small tool through your urethra and takes a sample of tissue from your bladder
● A CT scan
● An intravenous pyelogram (IVP)
For persons at average risk, no screening tests are suggested, although bladder cancer can be detected early because it causes blood in the urine or other urinary symptoms. Many of these symptoms have less serious origins, but it’s vital to get them evaluated as soon as possible so the reason may be identified and treated if necessary. If bladder cancer is the cause of the symptoms, catching it early gives you the best chance of a successful therapy. Remember to tell your doctor about any changes in your health. This will help them decide if you need any additional screening tests or treatment.
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