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Bladder Cancer Treatment: Here’s All You Need To Know
The bladder is a hollow muscular sac that stores and collects urine from the kidneys before disposal from our body. In humans, the bladder sits on the pelvic floor and can hold between 300 and 500 ml urine before the urge to empty occurs. Cancer in the bladder occurs when the normal cells undergo a dangerous or degenerative change. This results in abnormal growth and multiplication of cells. The accumulation of these cancerous cells is known as a tumour or cancer. They can also spread to other parts of the body and increase the complications. This is why it is best to start with bladder cancer treatment in the very initial stages of the disease.
Some of the most common signs and symptoms of bladder cancer include:
- Blood in urine (hematuria)
- Painful urination
- Pelvic pain
- Back pain
- Frequent urination
If you suffer from hematuria, your urine might appear to be bright red or cola coloured. There are times when it isn’t visible through the naked eye and can only be detected through a microscopic study of the urine.
Tests and procedures involved in the diagnoses are:
- Cystoscopy: The doctor inserts a small narrow tube through the urethra. This tube has a lens attached to it that allows the doctor to see signs of the disease.
- Biopsy: During cystoscopy the doctor might insert a special tool through the scope and in the bladder to collect cell samples for testing. This process is known as biopsy.
- Urine cytology: A sample of the urine is studied under the microscope to check for abnormality and cancer cells.
The treatment for cancer depends on a number of factors. These could include the type of cancer, stage of cancer, medical history of the patient and the preferred treatment. Treatment at the best cancer hospitals include:
- Surgery to remove the cancerous tissues.
- Chemotherapy to treat tumours confined to the lining of the bladder.
- Reconstruction to create a new way for urine to exit the body after the bladder is removed.
- Radiation therapy to destroy the cancerous cells. One of the most popular options in cases where surgery doesn’t take place.
- Immunotherapy to get the body’s immune system active in fighting the cancer cells.
A combination of these treatment options can also be used for the best results and an effective procedure. However, it is absolutely essential to not ignore the initial symptoms.