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If You Have Bladder Cancer, Pee On It
What is Bladder Cancer?
Bladder Cancer is caused due to the multiplication of cells in the urinary bladder that start to grow uncontrollably. The more these cells develop, the more they tend to form a tumor and it gradually spreads to other parts of the body.
The bladder is a hollow and flexible organ in the pelvis and its function is to store urine before it leaves the body. Urine that is made by the kidneys is carried to the bladder and then the body functions to pee. While peeing, the bladder muscles contract and it is ejected from the body.
Bladder Cancer usually starts from the inner layer called Urothelium and start spreading to the other layers. Like Lung Cancer, Breast Cancer or any other kind, Bladder Cancer is also easy to treat if detected early. After its spread to other parts of the Bladder, it becomes more advanced and become difficult to treat.
Table of Contents
• Urothelial Carcinom
• Papillary Cancer
• Sqaumous Cell Carcinoma
• Small Cell Carcinoma
• Intravesical therapy
• Radiation therapy
Types of Bladder Cancer
1. Urothelial Carcinoma
The most common type of Bladder Cancer is Urothelial Carcinoma which is also known as Transitional Cell Carcinoma (TCC). Urothelial is the innermost lining in the bladder which is also lined with kidney, ureter, and urethra.
According to their spread inside the body, they are categorized further as:
a) Non-Invasive: In this, cancer cells are still in the inner layer, i.e, the transitional epithelium and have not grown in deeper layers.
b) Invasive: These cells spread to other layers and takes the form of advanced stage. This type of cancer is harder to treat.
2. Papillary Cancer
This cancer grows from the inner surface to hollow center and they grow in finger-like projections. They often grow towards the center and do not disturb other layers. They are often categorized into non-invasive cancers.
These cancers do not grow at a faster rate and are also known as Papillary Urothelial Neoplasm of Low-Malignant Potential (PUNLMP).
3. Flat Carcinoma
This cancer does not grow towards the hollow part in any form. A flat tumor only in the inner layer is known as non-invasive cancer.
4. Squamous Cell Carcinoma
This is a rare kind of cancer. In US only 1-2% of bladder cancer is found to be Squamous Cell Carcinoma. Squamous Cell Carcinoma is generally invasive cancer.
These are also invasive cancer. Only 1% of bladder cancer patients are found to be a victim of this type. The cancer cells have a lot in common with gland-forming cells of colon cancers.
6. Small Cell Carcinoma
These are even rarer to be found in less than 1% of bladder cancer survivors. This starts in nerve-like cells called neuroendocrine cells. This cancer grows faster than the others and is needed to be treated quickly like small cell carcinoma in the lungs.
This starts in the muscle cell of the bladder and is very rare.
Bladder Cancer Symptoms
The most common symptom of Bladder Cancer is blood in your urine. In some cases, blood is visible while urinating or it may change the color of your urine from silver to orange, pink or red. And sometimes the blood is not visible in your urine, only your doctor can detect it under a microscope.
Visit your doctor if:
• You pee more often than usual
• The color of urine is changing
• It burns while urinating
• You feel like peeing every time even if your bladder is not full
• You pee very little
However, these symptoms may cause due to urinary infection. Bladder Cancer may come with alarming signs as follow:
• Even when you try to pee, it seems difficult
• You have lower back pain
• Unexplained weight loss
• Loss of appetite
• Weakness is your new friend
• Your feet are swollen
• Your bones hurt regularly
Though, research says that Bladder Cancer do not have specified symptoms if you have any of these, consult your doctor. You may or may not have Bladder Cancer in these cases.
Bladder Cancer Risk Factors
Risk Factors do not decide if you have or will have any type of cancer always. People with many risk factors may never experience any cancer, whereas, people with no risk factor may develop some serious diseases like Bladder Cancer.
Risk factors that you can control are :
Smoking: Smoking leads to many diseases like Lung Cancer, HIV and Bladder Cancer. Smokers have three times likely chances to develop Bladder Cancer in their bodies than non-smokers. But, you can quit smoking any day. Reduce the risk of falling prey to any disease, quit smoking today.
Workplace: Workplace decides a lot about your health and personality. People who work in a chemically exposed environment like rubber factory, leather industry, etc. have higher risk of Bladder Cancer. You can choose to be precautious in such environment.
Are you drinking enough fluids? – Fluids say that the more you drink the more you pee. People who drink more fluids like purified water would pee a lot and that helps them clean their bladder more often. This reduces the risk of chemicals lining in the bladder.
Medicines that are a part of your life: As much surprising as it is, US Food and Drugs Association (FDA) is researching over the use of diabetic medicines for more than one year and if they can create Bladder problems.
Along with these factors, you may unknowingly have other factors that are not in your control.
• Age and Gender: Age and gender are all the more natural. People aging 55 or above are more exposed to bladder cancer and it is more often in men than women, that they experience this disease.
• Personal History of Bladder Cancer: People who are already diagnosed with bladder cancer may have other diseases associated with it. Some infection in Kidney may lead to Bladder Cancer. Even after you get your cancer removed in the first stage, the chances of developing it again do not die.
• Birth Deciding Bladder Defects: Before birth, belly button and bladder are connected and this connection is called urachus. If this connection remains after birth, it could be cancerous in some cases.
Though, this is a rare factor, for less than half a percent of people may experience this, one can still be exposed to this.
• Family History: This goes without saying in most cases that we inherit from our ancestors. If Bladder Cancer is in your family, there are likely high chances of you to develop it at some stage of your life.
• Prior to Chemotherapy or Radiation Therapy: People, who go through Chemotherapy or Radiation Therapy for a long time, might start to develop Bladder Cancer. This causes irritation in their bladder and is asked by their therapists to drink more fluids.
Treatments of Bladder Cancer
Treatment for Bladder Cancer depends upon the type and stage that you are into. Your doctor can help you decide on which treatment you need to undergo.
• Intravesical therapy
• Radiation therapy
Know your body; know what type of cancer you may have. Lower the risk of shortening your life.
Drugs Approved for Bladder Cancer
The following list of medicines is related or used in several ways to treat this condition.