WHAT IS BLADDER CANCER?
Bladder Cancer Definition: Among several types of cancer, Bladder Cancer arises from the abnormal growth of cells within bladder indicating blood in the urine or pain during urination. Every year, around 30,000 people are suffering from bladder cancer (bladder cancer) in Germany. Men are affected about twice as often as women. Currently, the average age of the disease is 74 years for women and 72 for men.
The diagnosis of bladder cancer is often only made in a late stage since tumours in the bladder are hardly noticeable for a long time. However, such symptoms can also occur with harmless cystitis. If bladder cancer is discovered at an early stage, the healing chances are usually good.
WHAT CAUSES BLADDER CANCER?
Bladder Cancer Causes: In bladder cancer malignant tumour forms in the urinary bladder. Why such bladders are precisely created, scientists continue to disagree. However, there are some factors that significantly increase the risk of developing bladder cancer.
Similar to lung cancer, smoking plays a central role in the development of bladder cancer, as cigarette smoke contains various carcinogenic substances. In the case of smoking, the pollutants first enter the blood, later into the kidney and finally with the urine into the bladder. Since the urine usually remains there for a long period of time, the substances can develop their damaging effects in the bladder particularly well. According to experts, between 30 and 70 percent of all bladder cancer diseases are caused by smoking.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF BLADDER CANCER?
Signs of Bladder Cancer: The first signs of a cancer of the bladder are usually uncharacteristic since they could also indicate other diseases. For this reason, it is advisable to go to the doctor early on certain symptoms, in order to rule out the diagnosis of bladder cancer. The following symptoms may be the first signs of a bladder cancer:
- Blood in the urine: In about 80% of the patients suffering from bladder cancer, blood is present in the urine. Blood in the urine is not always recognizable at first sight, in part the urine is also only darker than normal coloured. In women, blood in urine is often mistaken for menstruation or menopause.
- Flank pain: Pain in the flank, which has no other obvious cause, may indicate bladder cancer but also kidney cancer.
- Pain in urination: Symptoms that we would initially attribute to chronic cystitis may be signs of bladder cancer. These include, for example, pain during watering, frequent urge to urinate, as well as disturbances during emptying of the bladder.
WHAT TREATS BLADDER CANCER?
Bladder Cancer Treatment: If a tumour has been formed in the bladder, there are two different treatment targets, depending on the stage of cancer: The primary goal is first to remove or destroy a bladder tumour and possible daughter tumours. This procedure is called curative therapy. However, if complete healing is not possible, attempts are made to prevent the growth and spread of a tumour for as long as possible.
- Bladder Cancer Surgery: If a bladder tumour is discovered at an early stage and is still relatively small, it can usually be removed by the urethra (endoscopic treatment). If such endoscopic treatment is not possible or sufficient, an open operation is performed. The bladder, neighbouring lymph nodes and affected neighbours are removed. If the bladder has to be removed, your doctor will inform you about alternative options for urine retention and urine derivation.
- Radiation: An alternative to open surgery provides for bladder cancer, the radiation is. In this case, the tumour cells are killed by ionizing radiation. Since bladder dorsal react very sensitive to radiation, bladder cancer can often be completely cured by radiation therapy. Compared to open surgery, the advantage of radiation therapy is that the bladder can be obtained in about 75 percent of the patients.
Chemotherapy: If not all cancer cells can be removed by surgery because they have already spread over the bloodstream in the body, for example, chemotherapy will be performed in addition to surgery. By means of chemotherapy, cells can be destroyed, which – as is the case with cancer cells – quickly divide. However, in the case of chemotherapy, even healthy cells, which often split, are destroyed. This can lead to typical side effects of chemotherapy, such as hair loss.
In the case of bladder cancer, it is also possible to apply chemotherapy locally in the bladder. This form of treatment is usually chosen when the bladder tumour has already been removed through the urethra. In order to prevent a renewed formation of malignant tissue, medicines are then washed once into the bladder. They remain there for about two hours. Likewise, after tumour removal at regular intervals, drugs which stimulate the immune system can be washed into the bladder. They are also intended to prevent the re-emergence of a bladder.
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