Cancer is the growth of abnormal cells in the body. These extra cells grow together and form masses, called tumors. In bladder cancer, these growths happen in the bladder.
The bladder is the part of your urinary tractClick here to see more information. that stores your urine until you are ready to let it out. See a picture of the female urinary systemClick here to see an illustration. or male urinary systemClick here to see an illustration..
Bladder cancer can usually be cured if it is found and treated early. And most bladder cancer is found early.What causes bladder cancer?
We don't know what causes bladder cancer. But being exposed to certain chemicals or cigarette smoking raises your risk. And like other cancers, changes in the DNA of your cells seem to play a role. Also, when the lining of the bladder is irritated for a long time, cell changes that lead to cancer may occur. Some things that cause this are radiation treatment, having catheters in place for a long time, or having the parasite that causes schistosomiasis.What are the symptoms?
Blood in the urine is the main symptom. Other symptoms may include having to urinate often or feeling pain when you urinate.
These symptoms can be caused by other problems, including a urinary tract infectionClick here to see more information.. Always call your doctor if you see blood in your urine.
To diagnose bladder cancer, your doctor will:
Treatment choices for bladder cancer include:
The treatment depends a lot on how much the cancer has grown. Most bladder cancers are treated without having to remove the bladder.
Sometimes doctors do have to remove the bladder. For some people, this means having urine flow into a bag outside of the body. But in many cases, doctors can make a new bladder—using other body tissue—that works very much like the old one.
Bladder cancer often comes back. The new tumors can often be treated easily if they are caught early. So it’s very important to have regular checkups after your treatment is done.
It’s common to feel scared, sad, or angry after finding out that you have bladder cancer. Talking to others who have had the disease may help you feel better. Ask your doctor about support groups in your area.What increases your chances of getting bladder cancer?
Anything that increases your chances of getting a disease is called a risk factor. The main risk factors for bladder cancer include: