General Illness Information
Medical Term: Bladder carcinoma
Common Name: Bladder cancer
Description: Bladder cancer is a malignant tumor invasion of the mucosa or wall of the bladder.
Until now, scientists can not find the exact cause of bladder cancer and can not fully define what provokes healthy cells to turn into malignant cells. But they highlight the most important and frequently occurring causes that trigger the onset of cancer.
- Chemical substances. The main chemical substances with carcinogenic properties are aromatic amines. The risk group involved people who work in harmful production and contact with these substances, for example aniline, which belongs to the group of aromatic amines;
- Smoking. During smoking, chemical substances are released into the human blood, which are excreted with urine. In the process of excretion, they irritate the mucosa of the bladder, which leads to its damage and development of the tumor;
- Radiation therapy and chemotherapy. As a result of treatment of prostate cancer with its repeated irradiation, sometimes the wall of the bladder is also captured. As a consequence, cystitis occurs, and after a while, healthy cells can degenerate into malignant cells. And during chemotherapy, its negative impact is comparable to that of chemicals;
- Chronic cystitis. With constant inflammatory processes of the mucosa of the bladder, the cells of the epithelium degenerate. As a result, most often squamous cell carcinoma occurs;
Congenital changes in the wall of the bladder. This factor is rare and provokes the development of adenocarcinoma.
Signs & Symptoms:
- Hematuria (blood in the urine) is the first complaint in 90% of patients. Hematuria is characterized by the presence of erythrocytes in the urine. Microhematuria can only be detected by microscopic examination;
- Blood in the urine is a serious symptom requiring urgent medical attention. In such cases, procrastination is very dangerous;
- Rapid, painful urination, discomfort after urination (found in 25% of patients);
- Swelling of the external genitalia, legs – it happens when squeezing the veins of lymphatic vessels;
- Pain in the abdomen and in the pelvis.
Symptoms of bladder cancer are non-specific and occur in other diseases of the urinary tract. Only an experienced specialist will determine the real cause of the presence of blood in the urine and prescribe the necessary treatment. Modern clinics are equipped well for conducting qualitative diagnostics. The earlier the disease is detected, the better the treatment of bladder cancer and the better the prognosis.
Bladder cancer symptoms may not manifest, its development can proceed without obvious signs of the disease.
- Industrial carcinogens (aniline dyes);
- smoking increases the risk of cancer by 4 times;
- male sex (men are 2-3 times more likely to get sick);
- chronic inflammatory processes of the bladder (cystitis);
- urogenital schistosomiasis (parasitic infection);
- congenital defects of the bladder;
- irradiation of the small pelvis;
- habit of delaying urine (prolonged contact of the wall of the bladder with potential carcinogens);
- some medicines (eg, cyclophosphamide).
Diagnosis & Treatment:
- Treatment of bladder cancer should always be comprehensive, that is, include surgical, medical and radiation methods. Therapeutic tactics depend on the stage of the tumor process;
- Surgery – removal of the tumor followed by immunotherapy or radiation therapy is the main method of treatment at an early stage. With this treatment, the function of the bladder is preserved;
- When the tumor sprouts into most of the bladder wall, surgery is necessary – radical cystectomy (removal of the bladder) followed by the formation of an artificial bladder from the large or small intestine. Ureteral plastic is a reliable and convenient method of restoring urination naturally;
- Radiation and chemotherapeutic treatment is used in addition to surgical treatment to prevent the recurrence of the disease;
- Intravesical chemotherapy reduces the risk of local recurrence. Systemic administration of cytotoxic drugs can be used before and after surgery and is the most effective treatment for bladder cancer;
- Radiotherapy helps to reduce the size of the tumor, which facilitates surgical intervention. Radiation therapy is used for bleeding and reduces pain with metastases in the bones;
- At the end of the treatment, it is recommended that the oncologist and urologist monitor the patient’s condition to avoid a recurrence of the disease. After examining the patient, a doctor conducts a general analysis and cytological examination of urine, a blood test, if necessary, cystoscopy and X-ray methods.
Prevention of bladder cancer includes:
- Elimination of occupational hazards, protection from industrial carcinogens (excluding direct contact with chemicals, wearing protective clothing, medical examination);
- radical treatment of all benign papillomas of the bladder, adequate cystitis treatment;
- smokers are advised not to smoke;
- use of a sufficient amount of fluid, regular emptying of the bladder.
Diet for bladder cancer of the 1st stage helps the body to maintain strength to fight the disease. Diet in more advanced stages of cancer (and also after surgery) promotes stimulation of the immune system and restoration of the functional state of organs.
Diet for bladder cancer should include fruits, berries and vegetables. Refuse carbonated drinks, smoking and alcohol. Spicy, fatty, fried and salty foods should be limited. Eat red meat and mushrooms from time to time. All products containing preservatives and artificial additives should be completely excluded from the diet.