Table of Contentsshow
Bladder cancer acquires the 10th spot among the list of most common cancer in the world, with approximately 549,000 worldwide annual cases . It is caused due to the abnormal formation of cells and tissues on the lining of an individual’s urinary bladder.
If you develop this medical condition, you can witness the presence of blood within your urine besides other associated symptoms including pain while urination, dizziness, etc. Upon experiencing any symptoms like this, it is necessary that you seek immediate medical assistance from an expert urologist. If the doctor considers that your symptoms relate to bladder cancer, they may refer you to an oncologist. With early medical intervention, you can successfully recover from bladder cancer.
|Symptoms||Haematuria or the presence of blood in the urine, urgency to urinate, more frequency in urination, burning sensation while urinating, tiredness, dizziness, body weight loss, etc.|
|Complications||Urinary obstruction, kidney failure, urinary tract infections or UTIs, metastasis, urinary tract obstruction, pouch stones, erectile dysfunction, vaginal narrowing, etc.|
|Causes||Risk factors include tobacco smoking; exposure to carcinogenic gases like o-toluidine, 4-aminobiphenyl, 2-naphthylamine and benzidine; infections in the bladder, chronic bladder irritation, prolonged presence of a urinary catheter, systemic sclerosis, kidney transplant, etc.|
|Onset||Onset is not applicable for bladder cancer since there is no definite cause of this disease|
|Diagnosis||Cystoscopy, urine test, biopsy, biomarker testing, computed tomography scan, magnetic resonance imaging, positron emission tomography scan, ultrasound|
|Prevention||There is no scientific way to prevent bladder cancer|
|Medication||Docetaxel or paclitaxel, gemcitabine and cisplatin, carboplatin and gemcitabine, methotrexate, vinblastine, cisplatin and doxorubicin, etc.|
Here’s a detailed overview of bladder cancer – its symptoms, types, diagnosis, treatment, and complications
Following are the common signs and symptoms of bladder cancer :
The major sign of bladder cancer is the existence of blood in the urine. This phenomenon is also known as haematuria. It is, in fact, common in around 80% of patients with bladder cancer, including both female and male patients.
Due to the presence of blood, your urine may become red or dark brown. In some cases where the amount of blood is very low, urine does not change its colour. However, you can know whether you have developed this haematuria through a urine test.
Besides haematuria, you can also observe other symptoms as mentioned below:
Bladder cancer occurs in the urinary bladder due to the abnormal formation of new cells or tissues. There are several risk factors that can cause this phenomenon and subsequently lead to the development of bladder cancer. These are as mentioned below , :
Smoking is the major risk factor for bladder cancer because tobacco contains carcinogenic components. When individuals smoke, these chemical components enter their blood. When the kidney filters blood to release toxic substances through urine, your bladder comes in exposure to the carcinogenic component as it stores the urine. Prolonged exposure to the chemical affects the lining of the bladder, making you prone to cancer.
Inhalation of certain gases can also be a potential cause of bladder cancer. Following are some of these carcinogenic gases:
Individuals generally come in exposure to carcinogenic gases due to their occupational obligations. Individuals who work in manufacturing industries like paints, plastic, dyes, rubber, leather tanning, and textiles also have a high risk of developing bladder cancer.
You may also develop bladder cancer in case you have been suffering from irritation or infection in the urinary bladder for a long time. This is why, if you experience such issues, it is imperative that you get the required medical attention and recover quickly. There are also certain disorders like bladder stones and gonorrhoea that increase the chances of getting bladder infections.
The presence of a urinary catheter within someone’s bladder for a prolonged period can also make them vulnerable to bladder cancer. Its risk increases if the age of that individual is lower than 60 years.
You can develop bladder cancer if you suffered from cancer in other parts of your urinary tract (such as the urethra, ureters, renal pelvis, etc.) before. Other than this, if you previously suffered from bladder cancer, you may develop it again in another area of the bladder. Besides these, if you had to undergo radiotherapy to treat cancer, you run the risk of developing bladder cancer.
If you have systemic sclerosis, you can become vulnerable to bladder cancer. Although the direct cause behind this is unknown, the medicine for treating systemic sclerosis, cyclophosphamide, can be a potential cause of bladder cancer.
You can develop bladder cancer if you have had to undergo a kidney transplant or if you are overweight. Further, if you have a family history of bladder cancer, you may also run the risk of developing this.
This type of cancer occurs within the innermost layer of the lining of the bladder. Tissues within this layer help the bladder to shrink and expand as necessary.
There are two subtypes of this transitional cell carcinoma, as mentioned below:
This type of bladder cancer affects the squamous cells of the lining of this organ. Generally, it occurs after individuals suffer from an infection or irritation in the bladder for a long time.
In adenocarcinoma, the glandular cells of the bladder get affected. These cells are present within the lining of the bladder. It is a rare type of bladder cancer.
When cancer stays within the lining of your bladder, doctors refer to this phenomenon as non-muscle invasive bladder cancer. If cancer goes beyond the lining and reaches bladder muscles, it is medically known as muscle-invasive bladder cancer.
If you are diagnosed with bladder cancer, you should ideally contact an oncologist without delay. With early medications and therapies, you can recover from the condition quickly. You can also know the self-care procedures that you need to follow. All these will also help prevent metastasis or further spread of the cancer into other organs along with other complications like urinary obstructions, kidney failure, pouch stones, etc.
Early detection of bladder cancer can be significantly helpful as it can help patients start medical treatment at an early stage. There are several types of diagnostic tests that doctors may suggest according to their suspected type of bladder cancer, signs, and symptoms, current health condition, age, etc. :
Following are the different diagnostic procedures that you may have to undergo to detect any sign of cancer within your bladder:
It is one of the primary diagnostic processes for bladder cancer. Doctors insert a cystoscope, a flexible, thin, light tubular medical equipment. It helps doctors examine the tissues inside the human body. It catches any abnormal growth or tumour within your bladder. If they find such a thing, doctors go for more specific testing procedures like biopsy.
A urine test is also one of the first tests that doctors conduct if your urine becomes red due to haematuria. They take a sample and send it to the laboratory for a urine cytology test. In this process, they examine the sample under a microscope to check whether it has any trace of tumour cells.
Doctors go for a biopsy if they find any tumour-like abnormal growth within your bladder after conducting a cystoscopy. This process involves the collection of a small amount of tissue from the affected area of your bladder and its diagnosis under a microscope. This process is also known medically as transurethral bladder tumour resection (TURBT).
Biomarker testing helps doctors to find out whether any specific reasons, like certain proteins, genes, etc., are responsible for the bladder tumour or cancer. For this, they may undergo molecular testing on the sample tissue collected from your tumour.
Besides these diagnostic processes, doctors may also prescribe imaging tests to know the stage of bladder cancer. The below-mentioned tests help them get a clear picture of the affected area:
In this process, doctors capture X-ray scanned images of the tumour from different angles to make a detailed 3-D picture. Through this image, they are able to understand the size and spread of the tumour. Doctors can also inject a special dye within the vein before conducting this test to ensure that the image is more detailed.
Instead of x-rays, this diagnostic process captures the detailed image of the tumour or cancer through magnetic fields. It also helps in understanding how it has spread or what its size is. Doctors may inject some special dye as a contrasting element to make the scanned image more vivid.
In this diagnosis, doctors inject a very small amount of a certain radioactive substance inside your body. Generally, the cells or tissues that require more energy absorb the substance in a higher amount. As the cancer-causing cells need more energy compared to cells from other body parts, a large amount of the chemical substance flocks to that part. Following the injection, doctors will use a scanner to know the location where this chemical accumulates. After knowing the location of cancer, doctors also conduct a CT scan to know its growth and stage.
Ultrasounds also help doctors get a clear image of any organ inside the body, including bladder tumours. In this process, they do not need to inject any contrasting substances.
The prognosis of bladder cancer depends on several factors including, the growth of your tumour/cancer, fitness, age, medical history, etc. You can recover from cancer if you get the required treatment procedures early.
There are also some factors that can lead to a poor prognosis of bladder cancer. These include the existence of carcinoma in situ, multicentricity, a larger size of the tumour, lymphovascular invasion, etc. 
The treatment procedure for bladder cancer depends significantly on its stage or growth. After the diagnosis and careful examination of the affected area, doctors suggest the required treatment processes. In this regard, you also need to know that the treatment procedures are different for muscle-invasive and non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer. These are as mentioned below :
Here are the three commonly practised treatment processes that patients may need to undergo if they have this type of bladder cancer:
In the surgical treatment process, doctors suggest transurethral resection of bladder tumours or TURBT to patients with non-invasive bladder cancer. They remove the cancerous cells from patients’ bladders through an operation. In performing TURBT operations they can use a laser, high-voltage electricity or a wire loop to cut out the tumour. Nevertheless, before starting this operation, patients need to take anaesthetic to numb their senses to pain.
After the surgery, patients need to stay in touch with the healthcare expert for follow-ups. They also may need to take medications so that cancer does not reappear.
In chemotherapy, you will have to take medications according to your doctor’s guidance to damage and/or stunt the growth of cancerous cells. Your oncologist may also perform intravesical chemotherapy in which they inject the required medications into your bladder directly using a catheter. This process helps in avoiding the chances of damaging healthy cells. You may have to undergo this chemotherapy once or twice, considering your medical condition.
In immunotherapy, doctors boost up your natural defence system or the immunity to damage cancerous cells. For this, they inject Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) or Interferon vaccines or inject both these together at certain dosages. Doctors may also go with intravesical immunotherapy in which they insert the dosages into the bladders of patients directly. You may have to undergo this immunotherapy once a week for up to a few months or weeks according to how your cancer responds to the vaccine.
If cancer reaches the layers of muscles, you may need to undergo the following treatment procedures:
Doctors perform lymph node dissection, radical cystectomy and urinary diversion, considering the spread of cancer. In cystectomy, surgeons remove the entire bladder and thereafter create a new way or passage from which patients can pass out their urine.
In this process, doctors advise certain drugs that you may have to take orally or inject into a vein. As a result, the drug will reach all your cells. You may also need to take combinations of different drugs to derive the best result, considering your health condition. Some of the most used medications that doctors suggest in systemic chemotherapy are:
In this therapy, doctors use a measured amount of radiation on the cancerous cells to damage them. They use high-energy X-rays on the affected area for this purpose. Generally, oncologists continue radiation in therapy in combination with other treatment procedures like chemotherapy.
Trimodal therapy is for those who do not intend to remove their bladders totally or whose bladder is functional due to the smaller size of the tumour. In this therapy, doctors first remove the tumour from the bladder and then continue the chemotherapy and radiation
There is no definite way of preventing bladder cancer. You cannot even control some of the risk factors of this disease like age, family history, etc. However, building certain healthy habits that can reduce the chances of bladder cancer is in your hand. Here are some factors you will have to follow for this :
Smoking is one of the major causes of bladder cancer as tobacco contains carcinogenic substances. You need to stop this activity entirely if you want to reduce your vulnerability to this cancer.
Like smoking, there are also several carcinogenic gases that you may have to inhale on a daily basis as they are integrally related to your profession. For example, if you work in the rubber or paint manufacturing industry, you get exposed to harmful gases. Maintaining proper safety standards like wearing a mask is mandatory to reduce the inhalation of gaseous carcinogens.
Drinking adequate fluids is necessary if you want to reduce the chances of developing bladder cancer.
You also should ideally include fresh vegetables and fruits in your regular diet to lower the risk of all types of cancer, including bladder cancer.
You may witness the following complications if your bladder cancer aggravates :
Besides these, you can also get the following complications as side effects of surgical procedures:
The cost of treating bladder cancer depends mainly on its stage or progress and the process of treatment. Here are the treatment procedures and their respective approximate budgets in India:
Apart from these, the charges of medical experts including surgeons and oncologists, diagnostic procedures, etc. also significantly influence the overall treatment expenses of bladder cancer. In fact, you may also need to undergo more than one treatment process, and for this, you may have to spend more. Whatsoever, you must not delay treatment to ensure quick recovery.
When the lining of your bladder starts growing new cells in an uncontrollable way, it forms a tumour. It can gradually become bladder cancer, the symptoms of which are, haematuria, dizziness, difficulties in urination, etc. If you witness such symptoms, you should not delay visiting a certified healthcare expert. Early detection and treatment will help you recover from this medical condition quicker.
With the rising cost of medical treatments and hospitalisation, it is imperative to get comprehensive health insurance coverage. Thanks to Navi Health Insurance, now you can get cashless treatment in 10,000+ hospitals across the country, enjoy unlimited online consultations, home hospitalisation, annual check-ups and other perks for premiums starting at just Rs.234 per month. Get a quote now! A constant inflation in medical costs can put you in a financial crisis in emergency situations. If you want to eliminate your worries about arranging funds for treatment, you can buy a Navi Health Insurance Plan. It will help you cover all your hospitalisation bills for up to Rs.1 Crore. The premium is also budget-friendly. It starts from only Rs.234 per month. Navi has more than 10,000 network hospitals from where you can avail cashless treatment facilities. So, cover yourself and your near ones now with Navi Health Insurance Plans.
Following are some of the medicines that your doctor may inject while performing intravesical chemotherapy: Mitomycin-C Valrubicin (Valstar) Docetaxel (Taxotere) Gemcitabine (Gemzar)
You may have to deal with the following complications after the surgical treatment process for bladder cancer: Infection Bleeding or blood clots Injury or discomfort in the nearby tissues Difficulty in emptying the bladder completely even after urination Erectile dysfunction Loss of physical strength Deficiency of vitamins Loss of pH-balance
You need to first quit smoking to ensure that your cancer does not aggravate. It will also help you avoid the relapse of cancer after the treatment is complete. Furthermore, having a proper and healthy diet plan and taking foods accordingly is also crucial. You also need to exercise and follow the guidance of a physiotherapist properly to regain the strength of pelvic floor muscles.
You may have symptoms similar to bladder cancer if you develop any of the following diseases: Hemorrhagic cystitis Benign prostatic hyperplasia Urinary tract infection Prostatitis Nephrolithiasis Diverticulitis Renal urothelial carcinoma Radiation cystitis Renal cell carcinoma Gynecologic cancer
TNM refers to Tumour, Node (Lymph) and Metastasis. Here are brief details about this staging system: Tumour: The cancer is in the form of a localised tumour in the bladder and has not yet spread elsewhere. Node: Lymph nodes are glands available throughout your body. The bladder cancer caused by the tumour can reach these nodes. Metastasis: In metastasis, cancer can spread to other parts of your body. Doctors run a thorough check-up before deciding the treatment procedure.
Bunion – What are the Causes, Symptoms and How is It Diagnosed and Treated?Bunion or hallux valgus is a common form of foot deformity. According to a study, 1 individua... Read More »
Brain Tumour – What are the Causes, Symptoms and How is It Diagnosed and Treated?Brain tumour or intracranial tumour is an abnormal mass of brain tissue caused due to abnormal cell... Read More »
Binge Eating – What are the Causes, Symptoms and How is It Diagnosed and Treated?Binge eating disorder or BED is a very common eating disorder. People with binge eating disorder te... Read More »
Rheumatoid Arthritis – What Are the Causes, Symptoms and How is It Diagnosed and Treated?Rheumatoid arthritis or RA is an inflammatory disease caused by an autoimmune reaction, where the i... Read More »
Psoriasis – What Are the Causes, Symptoms, and How is It Diagnosed and Treated?Psoriasis is a non-contagious autoimmune skin disorder that causes the formation of silver-white fl... Read More »
Myositis – What Are the Causes, Symptoms, and How is It Diagnosed and Treated?Myositis, also known as 'idiopathic inflammatory myopathy’, refers to muscle inflammation thereby... Read More »
Hepatitis – What are the Causes, Symptoms, and How is It Diagnosed and Treated?Hepatitis refers to swelling or inflammation of the liver caused by the hepatitis virus. If not tak... Read More »
Ulcer – What are the Causes, Symptoms and How is It Diagnosed and Treated?Ulcer or peptic ulcer is a condition characterised by open sores developing along the lining of the... Read More »
Typhoid – What are the Causes, Symptoms, and How is It Diagnosed and Treated?Typhoid is a bacterial disease caused by the bacterium Salmonella typhi. It can spread throughout t... Read More »
Stomach Flu or Gastroenteritis – What are the Causes, Symptoms, and How is It Diagnosed and Treated?Stomach flu or gastroenteritis is the inflammation of the intestinal system's lining caused by bact... Read More »
Scabies– What Are the Causes, Symptoms, and How is It Diagnosed and Treated?Scabies is a highly contagious, itchy skin disease that is caused by a microscopic mite known as Sa... Read More »
Parkinson’s Disease– What are the Causes, Symptoms and How is It Diagnosed and Treated?Parkinson’s disease is a disorder of the central nervous system. It is a progressive disorder and... Read More »
All information is subject to specific conditions | © 2022 Navi Technologies Ltd. All rights are reserved.