- By Dr Vikas Singh,
M.B.B.S., M.S., M.Ch.
Urologist, Genito Uro Oncologist and Kidney Transplant Surgeon,
Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Indore.
Urinary bladder cancer is one of the most common types of cancer affecting the urinary system. It is estimated that bladder cancer accounts for about 5% of all new cancer diagnoses in the world and India. It is a highly treatable and manageable cancer, especially when detected early. However, many people have questions and concerns about bladder cancer, its symptoms, causes, and treatment. In this article, we will address some of the frequently asked questions about urinary bladder cancer.
What is urinary bladder cancer?
Urinary bladder cancer is a type of cancer that occurs in the cells lining the bladder. The bladder is a muscular organ in the pelvis that stores urine. Bladder cancer typically begins in the cells that line the inside of the bladder, and can spread into the muscular walls of the bladder if left untreated.
What are the symptoms of urinary bladder cancer?
The most common symptom of bladder cancer is blood in the urine, also known as hematuria. Other symptoms may include painful urination, frequent urination, and the feeling of needing to urinate but being unable to do so. These symptoms can also be caused by other medical conditions, so it's important to see a doctor if you experience any of them.
What are the risk factors for urinary bladder cancer?
Several factors can increase the risk of developing bladder cancer, including smoking, exposure to certain chemicals such as those used in the manufacturing of dyes and rubber, chronic bladder infections, and a family history of bladder cancer. Male individuals and older individuals are also at a higher risk of developing bladder cancer.
How is urinary bladder cancer diagnosed?
Diagnosis of bladder cancer typically involves a physical examination, blood tests, urine tests, and imaging tests such as a CT scan or an MRI. A biopsy of the bladder may also be performed to confirm the diagnosis.
What are the stages of urinary bladder cancer?
Urinary bladder cancer is typically staged using the TNM staging system, which stands for tumor, nodes, and metastasis. The stages range from stage 0, which is a non-invasive cancer that has not spread beyond the inner lining of the bladder, to stage IV, which is a cancer that has spread to other parts of the body.
What are the treatment options for urinary bladder cancer?
The treatment of bladder cancer depends on several factors, including the stage and grade of the cancer, as well as the overall health of the patient. Treatment options may include surgery to remove the cancerous tissue, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or immunotherapy. In some cases, a combination of these treatments may be used.
What are the different types of surgeries for bladder cancer?
There are several types of surgeries that can be used to treat bladder cancer, including:
Transurethral resection of bladder tumor (TURBT): This is a minimally invasive procedure in which a surgeon inserts a cystoscope into the bladder through the urethra and removes the cancerous tissue using a small wire loop. This procedure is used to remove small tumors that are confined to the lining of the bladder.
Partial cystectomy: This is a surgery in which only a portion of the bladder is removed. This procedure is used to treat bladder cancer that is confined to a small area of the bladder.
Radical cystectomy: This is a surgery in which the entire bladder is removed, along with nearby lymph nodes and sometimes other organs. This procedure is used to treat bladder cancer that has spread beyond the bladder
What is the success rate of bladder cancer surgery?
The success rate of bladder cancer surgery depends on several factors, including the stage and location of the cancer, the type of surgery performed, and the overall health of the patient. In general, the success rate of bladder cancer surgery is higher for early-stage cancers that are confined to the lining of the bladder. The success rate of radical cystectomy, which is the most invasive type of surgery, is lower than that of TURBT or partial cystectomy.
How long does it take to recover from bladder cancer surgery?
The recovery time after bladder cancer surgery depends on the type of surgery performed and the overall health of the patient. In general, patients can expect to spend several days in the hospital after radical cystectomy, while recovery after TURBT or partial cystectomy is typically faster. Most patients are able to return to their normal activities within a few weeks after surgery
What is the prognosis for urinary bladder cancer?
The prognosis for bladder cancer depends on several factors, including the stage and grade of the cancer, as well as the overall health of the patient. When bladder cancer is detected early and treated appropriately, the prognosis is generally good. However, if the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, the prognosis may be less favorable.
Can urinary bladder cancer be prevented?
While there is no guaranteed way to prevent bladder cancer, there are several steps that can be taken to reduce the risk. These include quitting smoking, avoiding exposure to harmful chemicals, maintaining a healthy weight, and staying hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids.
What is the follow-up care for urinary bladder cancer?
After treatment for bladder cancer, regular follow-up care is important to monitor for any signs of recurrence or complications. This may include regular check-ups with a doctor, blood tests, urine tests, and imaging tests. Patients may also be advised to make lifestyle changes to reduce the risk of cancer recurrence