Bladder cancer

Bladder cancer

The bladder collects urine from the kidneys before expelling it from the body through urination. Bladder cancer develops when the cells in bladder tissue start to divide uncontrollably.

Bladder cancer is the fourth most prevalent cancer in men. It also affects females.

Bladder cancer can be benign or malignant. Malignant bladder cancer may be life threatening, as it can spread quickly. Without treatment, it can damage tissues and organs.

Symptoms

Blood in the urine: This is common. It can range from being detectable through a microscope to altering the color of the urine completely.


Urination habits: A person may need to urinate more often than usual. There may be a “stop and start” flow, or they may experience pain or a burning sensation during urination.

Later stage bladder cancer may cause the following symptoms:

  • back pain

  • weight loss

  • swelling in the feet

  • bone pain

  • an inability to urinate

The symptoms of bladder cancer can resemble those of a bladder infection. It is important to seek medical advice if symptoms persist

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Causes

The cause of bladder cancer remains unknown, but genetic mutations may play a role.

Smoking tobacco and having exposure to chemicals may cause mutations that lead to bladder cancer. However, these may affect people in different ways.

Scientists do not consider genetics to be a major cause of bladder cancer. They do suggest, however, that these factors might make a person more susceptible to the effects of tobacco and certain industrial chemicals.

Treatment

The main forms of treatment for bladder cancer include one or several of the following:

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