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Home >> Specialities >> Cancer Care >> Bladder Cancer Treatment

Bladder Cancer Treatment

Bladder Cancer ranks 10th on the list of the most common cancers worldwide. The risks are higher in males as compared to females with the lifetime incidence being 1 in 28 for the former and 1 in 91 for the latter. Nearly 9 out of 10 people who are diagnosed with bladder cancer are above 55 years of age and the median age of diagnosis is 73. Bladder Cancer is not common among children and has an incidence rate as low as 0.1 to 0.4 percent in people before 20 years of age.

What is Bladder Cancer?
Bladder Cancer is a malignancy that develops within the urinary bladder and is marked by the uncontrolled growth of abnormal bladder cells. It can be of several different types depending on the cells from which it develops. Most of these are very aggressive and can be muscle invasive. Small cell carcinoma of the bladder is the most aggressive form whereas urothelial carcinoma or transitional cell carcinoma is the most common type.

What are the symptoms of Bladder Cancer?
Common symptoms that may point towards the possibility of one having Bladder Cancer include:

  • Hematuria, i.e., the presence of blood in the urine 
  • Increased and frequent urge to urinate 
  • Experiencing pain or burning sensation while urinating 
  • Pain in the lower back, usually on one side 

When should you see a Specialist?
It is advisable to see a specialist as soon as you detect any of the above-mentioned symptoms. All these just point towards the possibility of you having bladder cancer but are not definitive. In order to confirm whether a patient has bladder cancer or not, doctors perform some physical examinations and tests. The sooner you consult a specialist, the quicker you will be diagnosed leading to better treatment outcomes. 

What causes Bladder Cancer? 
Bladder Cancer is the result of certain DNA mutations that lead to the uncontrolled multiplication of malignant cells. The exact cause of this cannot be pin-pointed, however, it has been closely linked with certain risk factors, which include:

  • Having a chronic bladder infection
  • Low fluid intake 
  • Advanced age 
  • High consumption of fats 
  • Smoking
  • Personal history of cancer 
  • Previous cancer treatment 

Modalities used for the diagnosis of Bladder Cancer 

  • Urine analysis 
  • Cystoscopy 
  • Biopsy of bladder tissue 
  • Biomarker testing 
  • Computerized tomography or CT scan 
  • Magnetic resonance imaging or MRI 
  • PET Scan 
  • Ultrasound

Treatment options available for Bladder Cancer

  • Surgery (procedures like TURBT or transurethral bladder tumor resection, partial cystectomy, radical cystectomy, and laparoscopic cystectomy)
  • Targeted therapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Radiation therapy 
  • Chemotherapy 

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