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Bladder Cancer - An Overview
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The urinary bladder is an organ that collects urine and accommodates it. Urine made in the kidneys travels through two tubes called ureters to the bladder. Cancer in the bladder occurs in the lining of it. Bladder cancer usually affects older adults, even though it might occur at any age.
Bladder cancer is diagnosed at early stages when they are highly treatable. Common symptoms include blood in the urine and frequent urination.
The cause of bladder cancer remains unknown. However, cigarette smoking and exposure to chemicals in workplace is a probable cause. According to the experts, the habit of smoking mostly leads to half of all bladder cancer cases in men and women. Chemicals such as dyes, leather dust and paints might also cause bladder cancer.
The common symptoms of bladder cancer include the following:
a. Hematuria, which is the occurrence of blood in the urine. Blood might be detected with microscopic examination of urine, or in other cases it might be visible to the naked eye as well.
b. Urinating Frequently
c. Painful urination
d. Pelvic pain and back pain
The above symptoms might also be associated with other bladder conditions.
There are three different kinds of bladder cancer. They are:
1. Transitional Cell Carcinoma: This type of cancer occurs in the cells that forms the lining inside your bladder. Transitional cells are those that expand when the bladder is full and contract when the bladder is empty. These cells also occupy the inner areas of ureters and urethra, thus tumors can occur in such areas too. This is the most common kind of cancer found in the United States.
2. Adenocarcinoma: Adenocarcinoma occurs in the cells that formulate the mucus-secreting glands in the bladder. This is the rarest type of bladder cancer in the United States.
3. Squamous Cell Carcinoma: Squamous cells occupy the bladder as a result of irritation and infection. This might possibly turn out cancerous. While this type of cancer is rare in the United States, they are found in other parts of the world where a parasitic infection named Schistosomiasis is the common cause for such infections in the bladder.
The following measures can reduce the risk of bladder cancer:
1. Quit Smoking: Risks of bladder cancer is twice in smokers than in non-smokers. Hence, the best you could do is to quit smoking for good.
2. Avoid Exposure to Arsenic: If you think that your drinking water is contaminated with arsenic, have it tested.
3. Avoid exposure to industrial chemicals: Avoid exposure to chemicals such as arylamines and benzene substances. Exposure to dyes, rubbers, paints, leathers, textiles and others increases the risk of bladder cancer.
4. Healthy Foods: Choose low-fat, low-cholesterol foods and increase fluid intake such as water. Water can dilute chemicals that can cause cancer.
Cancer in the bladder is treated usually with radiation therapy or chemotherapy. Consult your doctor for more insight and assistance on the subject.
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