Bladder cancer is a malignant tumor that grows from the walls of the organ. Non-invasive bladder cancer is located within the organ and is therefore easier to treat. The invasive form differs in that the tumor grows beyond the walls of the organ, and malignant cells infect other tissues.
Types and stages
Bladder tumors of malignant origin are divided into several types. The most commonly diagnosed urothelial and squamous cell carcinomas, adenocarcinoma. Sarcomas, lymphomas and other types are rare.
Depending on the size of the tumor, the following pathology stages are distinguished:
Stage I is characterized by the fact that the tumor is located on the mucous membrane.
Stage II – the neoplasm grows into the walls of the bladder, but does not spread to other organs.
Stage III is characterized by the fact that the tumor reaches a large size and grows through all layers of the organ wall.
Stage IV – metastases appear in the lymph nodes and other organs.
The causes of bladder cancer in women and men have not been precisely established, but it is known that the risk of developing the disease increases when exposed to the following factors:
diseases of the genitourinary system;
taking certain medications;
constant exposure to chemicals and carcinogens;
How does the disease manifest itself?
Often in the early stages, the pathology proceeds without symptoms. Often, the first signs of bladder cancer appear when the tumor becomes large. Patients are usually worried about the following symptoms:
blood in urine (staining urine pink or red);
frequent urination, which is accompanied by discomfort and soreness;
swelling of the legs due to compression of the lymphatic vessels.
Pain in the lower abdomen and pelvic area appears in the later stages. Signs of intoxication are often present: weakness, drowsiness, fatigue and fever. Although symptoms may indicate another urinary tract disorder, testing should not be delayed when they appear.
How is bladder cancer diagnosed? A comprehensive examination is usually carried out, which includes:
Ultrasound of the bladder;
A complex of laboratory tests of blood and urine is also carried out. The bladder cancer test also includes an analysis for the presence of abnormal cells. If metastases are suspected, other organs are examined.
Basic principles of treatment
In most cases, treatment for bladder cancer involves surgery. In the non-invasive form, transurethral resection of the bladder wall is used. In advanced stages, a cystoectomy (removal of an organ) is performed. Modern treatments for bladder cancer also include radiation, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy.
What are the prognosis for bladder cancer?
Survival for bladder cancer directly depends on the stage at which the pathology is detected. In the early stages, the disease can be completely cured; the survival rate at 5 years is 85%. The situation is completely different when the disease is diagnosed at an advanced stage. The prognosis for bladder cancer in this case is less reassuring.
Bladder cancer prevention should be undertaken from a young age. It is important to give up bad habits and exclude exposure to chemicals (change jobs if necessary). You should also promptly treat urological diseases and regularly visit a doctor with burdened heredity.