The bladder is a hollow and flexible pouch in your pelvis. Bladder stores urine before it leaves your body. Your kidneys make pee. Tubes called ureters carry the pee from your kidneys to your bladder. During the toilet, bladder muscles push the urine out through a tube which is called urethra. Here we’ll discuss about Bladder Cancer Stage, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment.
There are several Bladder Cancer Causes such as Smoking, tobacco use, past radiation exposure and chronic irritation of the lining of the bladder. When bladder cells become abnormal and grow out of control that means you get the Bladder Cancer. Over time, a tumor forms which is spread to nearby lymph nodes & other organs. Bladder cancer is rare. It accounts for just 5% of all new cancers in the U.S.
Bladder Cancer Symptoms:
Make an appointment if you have any symptoms:
- The first major symptom is blood in urine. It may be just a little, or enough to change the color urine.
- Go to the Pee more than usual.
- Changes in color of urine may be its orange, pink or red.
- Hurting and burning during pee.
- Feels like you have to pee, even when your bladder’s not full.
- When you go the toilet, you can’t pee, or very little.
- Your lower back hurts.
- Losing weight without trying.
- Feel extremely tired or weak.
Note: IF you have one of these symptoms please don’t panic. Just go the doctor. May be you could have bladder infection, a urinary tract infection, or other less serious condition.
Bladder Cancer Diagnosis:
First of all doctor will check whole body checkup and know you complete medical history. If your doctor feels something is wrong, he’ll prescribe the lab tests or might also send you to see a urologist.
- Urine Tests: In urine test, there are a number of things he and other health professionals can look for such as Urinalysis, Urine culture, Urine tumor marker tests.
- Cystoscopy: Your doctor will place a cystoscopy through the urethra -the duct that you pee through — and into the bladder. The cytoscope is a thin tube with a light and video camera on the end. Your doctor will inject salt water through the tube and into your bladder. This will allow him to see the inner lining of your bladder with the camera.
- Transurethral Resection of Bladder Tumor (TURBT): If your doctor finds something that doesn’t look right during your cystoscopy, he’ll take a sample of it (biopsy) to see whether it’s cancer. During a TURBT, your surgeon will remove the tumor and some of the bladder muscle near it. They’ll be sent to the lab to check for cancer.
Bladder Cancer Stages:
Stage 0: Just starting stage where cancer just started to grow into the center of your bladder. It hasn’t spread anywhere neither any lymph nodes nor other organs.
Stage I: At this stage cancer has grown through the inner lining of bladder but again still it hasn’t spread anywhere neither any lymph nodes nor other organs.
Stage II: The cancer has grown through the connective tissue in your bladder and into the muscle layer of the bladder.
Stage III: now Cancer is started to grow in the layer of fatty tissue of the bladder. But it hasn’t spread to nearby lymph nodes or to distant organs.
Stage IV: This may include any of the following:
- This is called the last stage of the cancer where, the cancer has spread from the bladder into your pelvic or abdominal wall.
- The cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes. But it hasn’t reached distant organs.
- Cancer is now in your lymph nodes or distant sites like your bones, liver, or lungs.
Bladder Cancer Treatment:
If you have bladder cancer, several treatments are available there. Your doctor helps you to decide the treatment, best for you and this will depend on a number of things.
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- Surgery: Transurethral resection of bladder tumor (TURBT) which is the common surgery in the early stages of the bladder cancer. After surgery you would be able to go home the same day or the next.
- Intravesical therapy:
Immunotherapy. In this therapy, your body’s own immune system attacks the cancer cells. Your doctor injects a germ called Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) into the bladder through catheter. This draws your body’s immune cells to your bladder. There, they’re activated by the BCG and begin to fight the cancer cells. Your doctor may start this treatment a few weeks after you have a TURBT.
Intravesical Chemotherapy (“chemo”). In this therapy, doctor injects some cancer-fighting medications through catheter. The chemo works to kill the harmful cells.
- Chemotherapy: Systemic chemo. Your doctor will give you chemo through an IV. Through this Therapy, medication travels through whole bloodstream to other parts of the body. It can kill cancer cells that may have spread beyond your bladder.
- Radiation therapy: This treatment involves using high-energy radiation to kill cancer cells. It’s a lot like getting an X-ray – only much stronger. It doesn’t hurt. You might need to get radiation 5 days a week for several weeks.
Your doctor may recommend it for one of the following reasons:
- You have early-stage bladder cancer.
- You have early-stage cancer but can’t have surgery.
- As a follow-up to TURBT or partial bladder removal surgery.
- To prevent or treat symptoms of advanced bladder cancer.