Cancer of bladder is a serious disease that about 300.000 people around the world suffer from. Every year about 35 per cent of people with bladder cancer die. This is why we have to find out more about this disease, its symptoms and causes.
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First manifestations of bladder cancer can mistakenly be taken for the symptoms of cystitis as it also starts with the pain in bladder and traces of blood in urine. Bladder cancer is more common among men than women. The statistics says that about 75 per cent of people suffering bladder cancer are men and usually they are in their 50s – 60s. The development of this type of cancer is often associated with smoking; in particular, it is said that people who smoke get sick 6 times more often than non-smokers. In addition, it has been proven that some types of bio and chemo carcinogens can provoke the development of this malignant tumor in men and women.
Symptoms of bladder cancer
The first sign of bladder cancer is the presence of blood in urine. If the blood is visible to the eye, it means that the tumor is already quite big in size and has damaged blood vessels of the bladder. At the first stage of the disease, traces of blood can be seen only under a microscope.
Aggregated blood inside of the bladder often clogs the urethra. It can cause difficulties with urinating and painful sensations in the bladder. The tumor itself, as well as stagnant urine inside of the bladder, stretches and irritates the walls of the organ, which causes frequent urination.
As it is really difficult to diagnose bladder cancer at first stages, because its symptoms are very similar to other diseases, usually people get to know about the disease when it has already developed into a serious tumor.
Treatment of bladder cancer should always be comprehensive; it means that it should include surgery, treatment with the help of drugs and radiation. But the method of treatment also depends on the stage of cancer.
The main method of bladder cancer treatment at the first stage is its transurethral resection. After that, a patient usually should have an immunotherapy or radiotherapy. This treatment lets the doctors save the functioning of a bladder. In the situation, when a tumor has penetrated the bigger part of the bladder, the doctor can do nothing more, but to remove the whole bladder. After that an artificial bladder is formed from the part of the intestine of the patient to restore the ability of the body to urinate.
Radiation and chemotherapy can additionally be used to prevent the bladder from tumor. Chemotherapy reduces the risk of local recurrence. It can be used before and after surgery. It is considered to be the most effective treatment for advanced bladder cancer.
Radiation therapy helps to reduce the size of the tumor, which facilitates the surgery. It also reduces pain when the patient has some metastases in the bones.
Prognosis depends on the stage of the disease, the amount of cells destroyed by cancer and the presence of metastases. The statistics shows that 60 per cent of people get the disease again during the first five years after having a surgery. When metastases are detected, the prognosis is unfavorable for three fourths of the patients. Local spread of metastases or their presence only in the lymph nodes gives hope for a five-year survival for 25 per cent of the patients.
Bladder cancer is an incurable disease; moreover, it can be a cause of death. That is why we have to pay more attention to our health and give up on the habits that can provoke the development of this disease. These habits may include smoking, drinking alcohol and constant contact with carcinogens that can be the part of dyes and paints.