Bladder Cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancerous) cells form in the tissues of the bladder, a hollow organ in the lower part of the abdomen. It’s shaped like a small balloon and has a muscular wall that allows it to get larger or smaller.
The bladder stores urine until it is passed out of the body. Urine is the liquid waste that is made by the kidneys when they clean the blood. The urine passes from the two kidneys into the bladder through two tubes called ureters. When the bladder is emptied during urination, the urine goes from the bladder to the outside of the body through another tube called the urethra.
Risk factors for developing bladder cancer include smoking and exposure to certain chemicals in the workplace. People with a family history of bladder cancer or who are older, white or male are at higher risk.
Signs & Symptoms
These and other symptoms may be caused by bladder cancer. Other conditions may cause the same symptoms. Check with your doctor if you have any of these problems:
- Blood in the urine (slightly rusty to bright red in color)
- Frequent urination, or feeling the need to urinate without being able to do so
- Pain during urination
- Lower back pain
Your OHC doctor will help you determine the best care plan for you. Depending on the stage or difficulty of bladder cancer that you have, the most common types of treatment include:
- Surgical treatments allow physicians to either remove or burn away the cancer with high-energy electricity, partially remove the bladder, remove the bladder and any nearby lymph nodes, or create a new way for the body to store and pass urine
- Radiation therapy uses high-energy X-rays and other types of radiation to kill cancer cells and keep them from growing
- Chemotherapy uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing them or stopping them from dividing