Breast Cancer?What is Breast Cancer?Read more...
Bone CancerWhat is Bone Cancer?Read more...
Bladder CancerWhat is Bladder Cancer?Read more...
Blood CancerWhat is Blood Cancer ?Read more...
Cervical CancerWhat is Cervical Cancer ?Read more...
Colon CancerWhat is Colon Cancer?Read more...
Esophageal CancerWhat is Esophageal Cancer?Read more...
Gallbladder CancerWhat is Gallbladder Cancer?Read more...
Gastric CancerWhat is Gastric Cancer?Read more...
Head and Neck CancersWhat are Head and Neck Cancers?Read more...
Hormone TherapyWhat is Hormone Therapy?Read more...
IMRTIntensity Modulated Radiation TherapyRead more...
Kidney CancerWhat is Kidney Cancer?Read more...
Lung CancerWhat is Lung Cancer?Read more...
Liver CancerWhat is Liver Cancer?Read more...
Lymphoma CancerWhat is Lymphoma Cancer?Read more...
Oral CancerWhat is Oral Cancer?Read more...
Ovarian Cancer What is Ovarian Cancer?Read more...
Pancreatic CancerWhat is Pancreatic Cancer?Read more...
Prostate CancerWhat is Prostate Cancer?Read more...
Skin CancerWhat is Skin Cancer?Read more...
Uterine CancerWhat is Uterine Cancer?Read more...
What is Bladder Cancer?
Bladder cancer, or cancer of the bladder, is cancer that forms in the tissues of the bladder. The bladder is an organ that stores urine. The majority of bladder cancers are transitional cell carcinomas - the cancer starts in cells of the inner-lining of the bladder.
Cancer that starts in thin, flat cells of the bladder are also possible; this type is called squamous cell carcinoma. Adenocarcinoma is also possible - this type of cancer begins in the cells that make and release mucus and other fluids. A large number of bladder cancers are transitional cell carcinomas. Adenocarcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas are considered as the other types of bladder cancer.
The development of bladder cancer is due to abnormal growth of cells in the bladder. These cells instead of dividing in an orderly way and develop mutations resulting them to grow out of control and not die. They then finally form a tumor. Bladder cancer symptoms include painless blood in the urine or frequent and painful urination.
What is the bladder?
The bladder is part of the urinary tract. It is at the bottom of the abdomen. It fills with urine and we pass urine out from time to time through a tube called the urethra. The urethra passes through the prostate gland and penis in men. The urethra is shorter in women and opens just above the vagina.
Urine is made in the kidneys and contains water and waste materials. A tube called a ureter comes from each kidney and drains the urine into the bladder.
The cells that line the inside of the bladder are called transitional cells or urothelial cells. There is a thin layer of cells beneath the lining, called the lamina propria.
The outer part of the bladder wall contains a thick layer of muscle tissue which contracts from time to time to push out the urine.
What is cancer?
Cancer is a disease of the cells in the body. The body is made up from millions of tiny cells. There are many different types of cell in the body, and there are many different types of cancer which arise from different types of cell. What all types of cancer have in common is that the cancer cells are abnormal and multiply out of control.
A malignant tumour is a lump of tissue made from cancer cells which continue to multiply. Malignant tumours can invade into nearby tissues and organs, which can cause damage.
Malignant tumours may also spread to other parts of the body. This happens if some cells break off from the first (primary) tumour and are carried in the bloodstream or lymph channels to other parts of the body. These small groups of cells may then multiply to form secondary tumours (metastases) in one or more parts of the body. These secondary tumours may then grow, invade and damage nearby tissues, and spread again. Some cancers are more serious than others; some are more easily treated than others (particularly if diagnosed at an early stage); some have a better outlook (prognosis) than others.
So, cancer is not just one condition. In each case it is important to know exactly what type of cancer has developed, how large it has become, and whether it has spread. This will enable you to get reliable information on treatment options and outlook.
You may not be able to control every situation and its outcome, but you can control your attitude and how you deal with it.
GOD didn’t add another day in your life because you needed it, he added it because someone out there needs you.
The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.
Dear GOD, if today I lose my hope please remind me that your plans are better than my Dream.....
Types of Bladder Cancer
Different types of bladder cells can go wrong (mutate) and become cancerous. The type of treatment a bladder cancer patient receives will depend on the type they have. The following are examples of types of bladder cancers:
Transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) - the cells the line the inside of the bladder become cancerous. When the bladder is full, transitional cells expand; when it is empty they contract. As these cells also exist in the inside lining of the ureters and urethra, tumors can form there as well. In the USA and Europe this is the most common type of bladder cancer. This cancer is further categorized into two types -
Squamous cell carcinoma - a squamous cell appears in the bladder when there is irritation or infection. They can eventually become cancerous. Squamous cell bladder cancer is more common in countries where schistosomiasis occurs. Schistosomiasis is a parasitic infection.
Adenocarcinoma - these are mucus-secreting glands in the bladder. When their cells become cancerous it is called adenocarcinoma.
Carcinoma in Situ (CIS) - carcinoma in situ (CIS) is a type of non-invasive bladder cancer that grow very quickly. CIS looks like a red area in the bladder and if left untreated it can turn into invasive bladder cancer.
Sometimes, bladder cancer may consist of more than one type of cancerous cell.
Causes of Bladder Cancer
The bladder is a hollow, balloon-shaped organ that stores urine. It is in the abdomen (pelvis). Waste from blood is filtered in the kidneys - the waste liquid is called urine. Urine travels from the kidney through two tubes, called ureters, to the bladder. When a person urinates, the urine travels through another tube, called the urethra to an opening at the end of a male's penis or just in front of a female's vagina. In males the urethra is longer because is passes through the prostate gland and then through the whole length of the penis.
Symptoms of Gallbladder Cancer
The most common signs and symptoms are -
Hematuria - Blood in urine (by far the most common symptom) - In most cases, the first symptom is to pass blood in the urine (haematuria). Haematuria caused by an early bladder tumour is usually painless. You should always see your doctor if you pass blood in your urine. The blood in the urine may come and go as the tumour bleeds from time to time. It may appear Coca-Cola colored, or bright red in the urine. It could also appear in a microscopic examination of the urine.
Other symptoms - Some tumours may cause irritation of the bladder and cause symptoms similar to a urine infection. For example, passing urine frequently or pain on passing urine. If the cancer is a muscle-invasive type, and grows through the wall of the bladder, then other symptoms may develop over time. For example, pain in the lower abdomen.
Stages of Bladder Cancer
Cancer can spread through tissue, the lymph system, and the blood -
Tissue - the cancer spreads from where it began by growing into nearby areas.
Lymph system - the cancer spreads from where it began by getting into the lymph system. The cancer travels through the lymph vessels to other parts of the body.
Blood - the cancer spreads from where it began by getting into the blood. The cancer travels through the blood vessels to other parts of the body.
When cancer spreads to another part of the body, it is called metastasis. Cancer cells break away from where they began (the primary tumor) and travel through the lymph system or blood.
Lymph system - the cancer gets into the lymph system, travels through the lymph vessels, and forms a tumor (metastatic tumor) in another part of the body.
Blood - the cancer gets into the blood, travels through the blood vessels, and forms a tumor (metastatic tumor) in another part of the body.
The metastatic tumor is the same type of cancer as the primary tumor. For example, if bladder cancer spreads to the bone, the cancer cells in the bone are actually bladder cancer cells. The disease is metastatic bladder cancer, not bone cancer.
Stage 0 - abnormal cells are found in tissue lining the inside of the bladder. These abnormal cells may become cancer and spread into nearby normal tissue. Stage 0 is divided into stage 0a and stage 0is, depending on the type of the tumor:
Stage I - cancer has formed and spread to the layer of connective tissue next to the inner lining of the bladder.
Stage II - cancer has spread to the layers of muscle tissue of the bladder.
Stage III - cancer has spread from the bladder to the layer of fat surrounding it and may have spread to the reproductive organs (prostate, seminal vesicles, uterus, or vagina).
Stage IV - one or more of the following is true:
Diagnosis of Bladder Cancer
Urine sample - if the patient had detected blood in urine, which will be tested for abnormal cells; this called a urinary cystography. Although this test is useful it can sometimes give false-positive results, and vice-versa - detect abnormal cells when there is not cancer, or not detect abnormal cells when cancer is present. A doctor cannot make a diagnosis just from a urine test.
Imaging tests - these tests allow the doctor to observe the structures of the urinary tract. The patient may receive a dye which is either injected into a vein or swallowed. An intravenous pyelogram is an X-ray imaging test that sees the dye highlighted in the bladder, ureters and kidneys. A CT (computerized tomography) scan is a series of X-ray images that allows the doctor to have a better look at the urinary tract and surrounding tissues.
Cystoscopy - a long-thin flexible tube, a cystoscope, is inserted through the patient’s urethra and into the bladder. The device has a lens telescope or microscope, and a fiber-optic lighting system which allows the health care provider to observe the inside of the bladder and urethra. The patient will receive a local anesthetic before this procedure begins. The urologist looks out for any abnormal areas that could be caused by bladder cancer.
Biopsy - a more rigid type of cystoscope may be used to take a sample of bladder tissue. The tissue will be observed under a microscope to see whether it is cancerous. This procedure is sometimes called TURBT (transurethral resection of bladder tumor). TURBT is sometimes used to treat bladder cancer. The patient is usually given a general anesthetic.
If results come back positive - if cancerous cells are detected in the bladder lining, the patient may have to undergo further tests to determine whether the cancer is limited to its area of origin, or has spread. These tests might include:
CT (computer tomography) scan - this is a medical imaging method that employs tomography. Tomography is the process of generating a two-dimensional image of a slice or section through a 3-dimensional object (a tomogram).
MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan - this device uses a magnetic field and radio waves to create detailed images of the body.
A bone scan - some radioactive material is injected into the patient’s vein. Affected areas of bone will absorb this material more rapidly than unaffected bone - these will show up as hot-spots in the scan.
Treatment of Bladder Cancer
Treatment for bladder cancer depends on the type of cancer, how advanced it is, the patient’s general health, and his/her preferences.
TURBT (transurethral resection of bladder tumor) - this procedure is used when the cancer is confined to the inner layers of the bladder. The surgeon passes a wire loop through the patient’s urethra and into the bladder. The loop burns away cancer cells by means of fulguration (electric current). The patient may feel some pain and have blood in his/her urine for a few days.
Segmenta cystectomy (partial cystectomy) - a portion of the bladder that contains cancer cells is surgically removed. This procedure is an option of the cancer is limited to just one part of the bladder that can be surgically removed without seriously affecting bladder function. The patient will receive a general anesthetic and remain in hospital for between seven to ten days. There is a risk of bleeding and infection. There may also be bleeding. As the procedure reduces the size of the bladder the patient will need to urinate more often after it. Some patients find that eventually the intervals between each urination get longer.
Radical cystectomy - the whole bladder is surgically removed, as well as nearby lymph nodes. For males this also includes the removal of the prostate and seminal vesicles, which will cause infertility. For females this also includes removal of the uterus, ovaries (causing infertility) and part of their vagina. The younger woman will experience premature menopause. There is a risk of infection, blood clots, bleeding and bowel obstruction. With the entire bladder removed the surgeon needs to create a new route for the urine to leave the body. A urinary conduit (a tube) using a piece of the patient’s intestine can be created, which goes from the kidneys to the outside of the body where the urine drains into an urostomy bag. The bag is worn on the patient’s abdomen. Alternatively the surgeon may use a section of intestine to create a small internal reservoir for urine; this is called a cutaneous continent urinary diversion. The reservoir can be drained by inserting a catheter into a hole in the abdomen. The surgeon can also create a neobladder from a piece of intestine. This internal reservoir is connected to the urethra, so that the patient can urinate in a normal way. Sometimes a catheter may be needed.
Immunotherapy - Also known as biological therapy, immunotherapy signals the immune system to help attack cancer cells. Intravesical therapy is administered through the patient’s urethra straight into the bladder. The following drugs may be used:
BCG (Bacille Calmette-Geurin) - the BCG vaccine is administered to non-invasive bladder cancer patients in order to reduce the risk of recurrence. The vaccine was originally designed to treat TB (tuberculosis). Experts are not sure how it helps patients with non-invasive bladder cancer. We do know that it triggers the immune system to target any remaining cancer cells. The bladder can become irritated and the patient may have blood in his/her urine. Some patients may experience flu-like symptoms.
Interferon alfa - this is a synthetic version of interferon; a type of cell the body uses to fight infections. It may be used in combination with BCG. Interferon alfa may also cause flu-like symptoms. The patient may receive biological therapy after TURBT to reduce the risk of cancer recurrence. It may also be administered before surgery to make a tumor smaller and easier for the surgeon to deal with.
Chemotherapy - These drugs either destroy cancer cells or prevent them from multiplying. Bladder cancer patients will usually receive two drugs at the same time. They are administered intravenously or directly into the bladder via the urethra. The doctor may administer chemotherapy after surgery to destroy any cancer cells that might remain inside the body. Sometimes chemotherapy is administered before surgery to shrink the tumor and make it more manageable. Sometimes chemotherapy is given along with radiotherapy.
Radiotherapy - Radiotherapy, also known as radiation therapy, radiation oncology and XRT, is used for treating cancer, thyroid disorders and some blood disorders. Approximately 40% of patients of all types of cancer undergo some kind of radiotherapy. It involves the use of beams of high-energy X-rays or particles (radiation) to destroy cancer cells. Radiotherapy works by damaging the DNA inside the tumor cells, destroying their ability to reproduce. The patient may receive external beam radiation - therapy comes from a machine outside the body, or brachytherapy - a device is placed inside the bladder. Radiotherapy may be used prior to surgery to make the tumor smaller, so that it is easier to remove. It may also be used after surgery to kill off any cancers cells that may have been left behind. Sometimes radiation therapy is given along with chemotherapy.
"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions".
"The purpose of our lives is to be happy" - Dalai Lama