Bladder cancer is the most frequent malignant tumor of the urinary tract and usually occurs most commonly in the fifth through seventh decade. Bladder cancer usually forms in the urinary bladder from the cells that divide and grow in an uncontrolled way, causing a tumor on or within the bladder. Most bladder cancers are found on the trigone, posterior (back), and lateral (side) walls of the bladder.

Types of bladder cancers

It is believed that it takes many years for gradual change in bladder cells to produce a bladder cancer.

There are several different types of bladder cancers. Transitional cell carcinoma is the most common type and is approximately 90% of all bladder cancers. Other types of bladder cancers include squamous cell carcinomas and adenocarcinomas.

Transitional cell carcinoma starts in the layer of cells that form the lining of the bladder and may present as a superficial, well-differentiated papillary tumor. Transitional cell carcinoma may also present as a highly invasive, poorly differentiated neoplasm. Squamous cell carcinoma is seen less frequently and may be associated with chronic irritation or parasitic infestation. Adenocarcinoma may occur as a primary bladder tumor, but spread from a bowel cancer.

You can also learn about available bladder cancer treatments.

Symptoms

Early symptoms may be painless.

•          Hematuria- blood in the urine.

•          Pyuria- pus in the urine.

•          Dysuria- Painful or difficult urination.

•          Burning

•          Frequency

•          Pain may occur with invasion, infection, or fixation of tumor onto the bladder.

Etiology

The definite causes of bladder cancer are not always clear. The American Cancer Society Textbook of Clinical Oncology, 2nd Edition, page 318 states;

“Aniline dye used in the textile, rubber, and cable industries is an etiologic factor. There is a long latency period (6 to 20 years) from exposure until tumor transformation in humans. Beta-naphthylamine, 4-amino-diphenyl, and cigarette smoking is associated with a six-fold higher incidence of bladder tumor.”

Bladder Cancer Glossary

•          Benign:not malignant; not recurrent; not cancerous.

•          Biopsy: the removal and examination of a small piece of tissue from the living body to determine if cancer cells are present.

•          Bladder: a musculomembranous sac that serves as a reservoir for urine.

•          Chemotherapy: a treatment for disease by using chemical agents.

•          Cystectomy: a resection (removal) of the bladder.

•          Cystoscope: a “telescope like” instrument used for visual examination to inspect the bladder.

•          Cystoscopy: A procedure which allows direct visual examination of the bladder using a cystoscope.

•          Frequency: the need to urinate more often than which is considered normal.

•          Invasive: involving puncture or growth of the bladder tumor into the bladder wall or elsewhere.

•          Malignancy: a cancerous growth which has the tendency to progress.

•          Metastatic: the transfer of a cancer from one organ to another.

•          Radiation: a treatment for disease using high-frequency ionizing radiation.

•          Transurethral resection (TUR): a procedure performed with an instrument passed through the urethra in order to remove abnormal tissue.

•          Tumor: a growth of tissue in which the division of cells is uncontrolled and progressive.

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