Bladder Cancer Risk Factors
Bladder cancer is sometimes known as prostate cancer. It is one of the most common forms of cancer of the urinary tract and accounts for about fifteen percent of all cancer cases. The prognosis for bladder cancer depends upon the stage that the disease is at, as well as various factors related to lifestyle, age and the individual's general health. In most cases, a person with stage I or stage II bladder cancer, has a good prognosis, but this does not mean that people with stage III or stage IV bladder cancer are entirely immune to this type of cancer. There are still many treatment options available for people diagnosed with bladder cancer, but these options tend to be more limited.
Stage IV bladder cancer is often referred to as metastasized bladder cancer. This means that the cancer has grown from the bladder into other areas of the body, such as the kidney or the lungs. People with metastasized bladder cancer may also experience symptoms relating to the original site of the tumor. Bladder cancer in this form has an exceptional prognosis, but it may still be fatal if treatment is discontinued early. If you notice any of these symptoms persisting, see your doctor immediately to find out if there is a cure for your condition.
Bladder cancer that has spread to other parts of your body, usually through the blood, is treated using a combination of surgery and chemotherapy. Medications are usually prescribed to help keep the immune system from fighting the cancer. If surgery is required, then the entire bladder, including the kidneys and the lungs, will need to be removed. Radiation therapy is another option but is usually only used for patients who have already had some level of success with chemotherapy.
One of the most common side effects of chemotherapy is loss of bladder control. This is often temporary, though, and will go away when the treatment is stopped. It can also happen in people who have had surgery or radiation therapy for other problems. However, since the cause of bladder cancer is the invasion of abnormal cells form in the lining of the bladder, many doctors will also prescribe immunotherapy. This approach combines medication to try to kill off the abnormal cells, along with an oral or injected drug designed to block the antibodies that the cells are made to fight off.
One of the most common symptoms of bladder cancer include extreme pain in the area of the urethra, as well as the inability to urinate. Other symptoms include blood in the urine, or urine that has a strong smell. Sometimes both symptoms occur, meaning that either the patient is suffering from blood in the urine or the patient is suffering from a bad odor from the urine. The pain and lack of urination often lead to an urge to urinate, but once the urge comes, the person finds that they have no idea how to go about going to the bathroom. Urination often takes very long, even when there is urinating, which can be a serious sign of bladder cancer. Other symptoms that may occur are similar: fever, chills, loss of appetite, or the need to urinate often.
Bladder cancer, like other types of cancers, starts with damage to the cells that make up the bladder. Normally, these cells don't die or get damaged because they are part of a system called the immune system. However, sometimes things happen that cause the immune system to attack the cells and this leads to a potentially fatal problem. When this happens, it is important that people look into what might have caused the damage to the cells. A doctor might recommend that a patient look into possible environmental factors such as exposure to certain chemicals and toxins, because some of these causes might explain why the immune system has been attacking the bladder. Some environmental factors may also lead to other types of cancer, so it is important to check with a specialist if one is found to be a possible cause.
One of the many symptoms of bladder cancer involves the urothelial cells, which are in charge of cleaning out the urinary system and removing toxins and waste materials from the urine. Sometimes, the urothelial cells can become abnormal and divide excessively, leading to problems. When this happens, they end up clumping together and forming a tumor. This tumor then starts to grow until it eventually dwarfs the existing bladder and affects its functions. As time goes on and the size of the tumor increases, it can put additional pressure on the surrounding structures and cause them to twist or tear. These torn structures can eventually cause internal bleeding and ultimately, the complete failure of the kidney.
People who have a family history of bladder cancers are at higher risk than those who do not. However, the risk factors also depend on the type of bladder cancer that is developing. For instance, children are considered to be at a high risk for adenocarcinoma, which is a type of bladder cancer that originates from the lining of the bladder. People who smoke cigarettes are also at a greater risk because smoking causes the cells to divide more rapidly and may increase the risk of malignant cells developing. Certain other factors such as having a history of urinary tract infections may increase bladder cancers risk.
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