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Bladder cancer is where a growth of abnormal tissue, known as a tumour, develops in the bladder lining. In some cases, the tumour spreads into the surrounding muscles.
The most common symptom of bladder cancer is blood in your urine, which is usually painless.
If you notice blood in your urine, even if it comes and goes, you should visit your GP, so the cause can be investigated.
Types of bladder cancer
Once diagnosed, bladder cancer can be classified by how far it has spread.
If the cancerous cells are contained inside the lining of the bladder, doctors describe it as non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer. This is the most common type of bladder cancer, accounting for 7 out of 10 cases. Most people don’t die as a result of this type of bladder cancer.
When the cancerous cells spread beyond the lining, into the surrounding muscles of the bladder, it’s referred to as muscle-invasive bladder cancer. This is less common, but has a higher chance of spreading to other parts of the body and can be fatal.
If bladder cancer has spread to other parts of the body, it’s known as locally advanced or metastatic bladder cancer.
Why does bladder cancer happen?
Most cases of bladder cancer appear to be caused by exposure to harmful substances, which lead to abnormal changes in the bladder’s cells over many years.
Tobacco smoke is a common cause and it’s estimated that half of all cases of bladder cancer are caused by smoking.
Contact with certain chemicals previously used in manufacturing is also known to cause bladder cancer. However, these substances have since been banned.
Treating bladder cancer
In cases of non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer, it’s usually possible to remove the cancerous cells while leaving the rest of the bladder intact.
This is done using a surgical technique called transurethral resection of a bladder tumour (TURBT). This is followed by a dose of chemotherapy medication directly into the bladder, to reduce the risk of the cancer returning.
In cases with a higher risk of recurrence, a medication known as Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) may be injected into the bladder to reduce the risk of the cancer returning.
Treatment for high-risk non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer, or muscle-invasive bladder cancer may involve surgically removing the bladder in an operation known as a cystectomy.
When the bladder is removed, you’ll need another way of collecting your urine. Possible options include making an opening in the abdomen so urine can be passed into an external bag, or constructing a new bladder out of a section of bowel. This will be done at the same time as a cystectomy.
If it’s possible to avoid removing the bladder, or if surgery is not suitable, a course of radiotherapy and chemotherapy may be recommended. Chemotherapy may sometimes be used on its own before surgery or before being combined with radiotherapy.
After treatment for all types of bladder cancer, you’ll have regular follow-up tests to check for signs of recurrence.
Who is affected?
About 10,000 people are diagnosed with bladder cancer every year and it’s the seventh most common cancer in the UK.
The condition is more common in older adults, with more than half of all new cases diagnosed in people aged 75 and above.
Bladder cancer is also more common in men than in women, possibly because in the past, men were more likely to smoke and work in the manufacturing industry.
Hello Riya Verma,
You created a good topic and i also want to share some information and symptoms of bladder cancer.
People with bladder cancer may experience the following symptoms or signs. Sometimes, people with bladder cancer do not show any of these symptoms. Or, these symptoms may be caused by a medical condition that is not cancer.
Blood or blood clots in the urine
Pain or burning during urination
Feeling the need to urinate many times throughout the night
Feeling the need to urinate, but not being able to pass urine
Lower back pain on one side of the body
Bladder most cancers begins when cells within the urinary bladder start to grow uncontrollably. As more most cancers cells increase, they could shape a tumor and spread to different areas of the frame. (to examine greater about how cancers begin and spread, see what's most cancers?)
The bladder is a hollow organ in the pelvis with bendy, muscular partitions. Its principal feature is to shop urine earlier than it leaves the frame. Urine is made by means of the kidneys and is then carried to the bladder through tubes known as ureters. Whilst you urinate, the muscular tissues inside the bladder agreement, and urine is pressured out of the bladder through a tube referred to as the urethra.