Statistics Of Bladder Cancer For Women
- About 90 percent of individuals with a bladder cancer diagnosis are over 55 years old.
- Physicians discover 50 percent of all cases when the cancer is still in the bladder only, but 4 percent of individuals diagnosed have bladder cancer that’s spread to their distant tissues.
- Women have a one in 89 risk of getting bladder cancer.
- Bladder cancer isn’t among the 10 most common types of cancer in women.
- For 2020 in the U.S., the American Cancer Society estimates are around 81,400 new bladder cancer cases and 17,980 deaths due to bladder cancer .
- If you develop bladder cancer once, you have a high risk of it coming back, therefore being monitored regularly is typically recommended every three to six months. In some cases, bladder cancer doesn’t go away but turns into a chronic condition. For this, you would require regular treatment to keep it in check.
Dear Mayo Clinic: Ovarian Cancer Symptoms And Treatment Options
DEAR MAYO CLINIC: A woman I work with was diagnosed with ovarian cancer two years ago at 60. She reportedly was having a lot of abdominal bloating and pain on one side after meals. I heard she had a recurrence recently, and I am starting to worry since I have recently begun experiencing bloating after eating. I also have had some pain during menstrual cycles. I’m only 42. Is it possible I could have ovarian cancer? Is there a screening test? What are the treatment options?
ANSWER: Ovarian cancer is estimated to affect more than 22,000 women each year, and it is the fifth leading cause of cancer deaths among women, according to the American Cancer Society. While most of these women are over 60, ovarian cancer can affect younger women.
Unlike other gynecologic cancers, there are no screening tests for ovarian cancer. While some women diagnosed with ovarian cancer have elevated levels of the CA 125 protein, the associated blood test is not accurate enough for ovarian cancer screening, as many noncancerous conditions can increase the CA 125 level.
Ovarian cancer is hard to detect in its early stages due to its vague symptoms, which may often be mistaken for more common benign condition. Women may experience constipation, bloating, early satiety after eating and back pain. Discomfort in the pelvic area and change in bowel habits, including a frequent need to urinate, also may be symptoms of ovarian cancer.
What Are The Stages Of Bladder Cancer
Bladder cancer can be either early stage or invasive .
The stages range from TA to IV . In the earliest stages , the cancer is confined to the lining of the bladder or in the connective tissue just below the lining, but has not invaded into the main muscle wall of the bladder.
Stages II to IV denote invasive cancer:
- In Stage II, cancer has spread to the muscle wall of the bladder.
- In Stage III, the cancer has spread to the fatty tissue outside the bladder muscle.
- In Stage IV, the cancer has metastasized from the bladder to the lymph nodes or to other organs or bones.
A more sophisticated and preferred staging system is known as TNM, which stands for tumor, node involvement and metastases. In this system:
- Invasive bladder tumors can range from T2 all the way to T4 .
- Lymph node involvement ranges from N0 to N3 .
- M0 means that there is no metastasis outside of the pelvis. M1 means that it has metastasized outside of the pelvis.
Risk Factors Of Bladder Cancer
By far, smoking is the biggest risk factor to be concerned about when it comes to bladder cancer. According to the National Institutes of Health, about 50% of women diagnosed with bladder cancer are smokers. Because the rate of occurrence is so much higher for smokers, if you notice any of the above symptoms and you smoke, let your doctor know as soon as possible.
Another major risk factor is previously having bladder cancer. Bladder cancer has a 50-80% recurrence rate, which is among the highest of any form of cancer. This is why it is imperative to continue to see your physician and be on the lookout for any symptoms of bladder cancer if youve had it before. When in doubt, get it checked out.
Age is another major factor. The average age of diagnosis in women is 73. Any woman over the age of 55 years old should keep an extra eye out for symptoms.
Consumer Health: Treating Bladder Cancer
May is Bladder Cancer Awareness Month, which makes this a good time to learn about this common type of cancer.
More than 81,000 new cases of bladder cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2022, and more than 17,000 people will die of the disease, according to the American Cancer Society. Bladder cancer occurs in men more frequently than in women, and the risk increases with age, especially after 55.
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What Are The Risk Factors For Bladder Cancer
Some factors increase the risk of bladder cancer:
- Cigarette smoking is the biggest risk factor it more than doubles the risk. Pipe and cigar smoking and exposure to second-hand smoking may also increase one’s risk.
- Prior radiation exposure is the next most common risk factor .
- Certain chemotherapy drugs also increase the risk of bladder cancer.
- Environmental exposures increase the risk of bladder cancer. People who work with chemicals, such as aromatic amines are at risk. Extensive exposure to rubber, leather, some textiles, paint, and hairdressing supplies, typically related to occupational exposure, also appears to increase the risk.
- Infection with a parasite known as Schistosoma haematobium, which is more common in developing countries and the Middle East.
- People who have frequent infections of the bladder, bladder stones, or other diseases of the urinary tract, or who have chronic need for a catheter in the bladder, may be at higher risk of squamous cell carcinoma.
- Patients with a previous bladder cancer are at increased risk to form new or recurrent bladder tumors.
Other risk factors include diets high in fried meats and animal fats, and older age. In addition, men have a three-fold higher risk than women.
Discovering A New Calling
Devi’s surgery at Mayo Clinic successfully removed all the cancer. Today, at age 24, Devi remains cancer-free. The only visible sign of her surgery is a small scar on her abdomen. Once again, she enjoys an active lifestyle that includes study and dance. In addition to successful treatment for her cancer, the experience at Mayo Clinic provided Devi with an unexpected benefit: she gained a new purpose for her life that changed her career plans.
Inspired by the thorough, compassionate care she received at Mayo Clinic, Devi changed her college major to health and wellness. After earning a Bachelor of Science degree, she decided to become a physician assistant.
“When I got to Mayo Clinic, I saw how wonderfully the physicians and physician assistants worked together and took such great care of their patients,” says Devi. “I knew that’s what I wanted to do. I want to be able to provide for other patients what Mayo Clinic provided for me.”
Devi is now employed as a certified physician assistant in the Twin Cities.
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Bladder Cancer In Women
Bladder cancer is often thought of as affecting men, and with good reason. New cases of this cancer are more than three times higher among men. But this doesnt mean bladder cancer is not a cause for concern in women.
Even though men are more commonly diagnosed with bladder cancer, women are often diagnosed with more advanced disease and they have worse survival than men, says Mark D. Tyson II, M.D., M.P.H., a urologist at Mayo Clinics campus in Arizona. He spoke on the topic during a recent Mayo Clinic Q& A podcast.
One reason for this disparity may be that in women, its easy to confuse signs and symptoms of bladder cancer including blood in the urine with other conditions or to attribute them to sources other than a serious disease. There are many reasons for hematuria in women, such as urinary tract infections and postmenopausal bleeding. Women experiencing bleeding may just assume they are bleeding for one of these more innocuous reasons and ignore it.
But ignoring symptoms can lead to a delay in evaluation and care. If the cause of bleeding is bladder cancer, the result could be more advanced disease at diagnosis.
Not only do women have worse survival than men, but certain women of color have worse survival rates than white women. A 2018 study found the five-year survival rate among Black women with urinary bladder cancer was 53% the lowest of any racial or ethnic group compared with 74% in white women. Hispanic women had a five-year survival rate of 69%.
Arsenic In Drinking Water
Drinking water containing arsenic is associated with a greater risk of bladder cancer. However, this is not a large concern in the U.S. Where you live, as well as if you drink well water, or public system water will determine your risk. Most public water systems meet standards for low arsenic content.
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If You’ve Been Diagnosed With Bladder Cancer Treatment Can Include:
- Surgery to remove the cancer cells.
- Chemotherapy in the bladder called intravesical chemotherapy to treat cancers that are confined to the lining of the bladder but have a high risk of recurrence or progression to a higher stage.
- Chemotherapy for the whole body, called systemic chemotherapy, to increase the chance for a cure in a person having surgery to remove the bladder, or as a primary treatment when surgery isn’t an option.
- Radiation therapy to destroy cancer cells, often as a primary treatment when surgery isn’t an option or isn’t desired.
- Immunotherapy to trigger the body’s immune system to fight cancer cells, either in the bladder or throughout the body.
- Targeted therapy to treat advanced cancer when other treatments haven’t helped.
Expert Review And References
- Alektiar KM, Abu-Rustum NR, Fleming GF. Cancer of the uterine body. DeVita VT Jr, Lawrence TS, Rosenberg SA. Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology. 10th ed. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins 2015: 73:1048-1064.
- Almadrones Cassidy, L. Endometrial cancer. Yarbro CH, Wujcki D, Holmes GB . Cancer Nursing: Principles and Practice. 7th ed. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett 2011: 53: 1281-1294.
- American Cancer Society. Uterine Sarcoma. 2014: .
- American Cancer Society. Endometrial Cancer. 2015: .
- American Society of Clinical Oncology. Uterine Cancer. 2014: .
- Chiang JW. Uterine Cancer. 2013: .
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Changes In Bladder Habits Or Symptoms Of Irritation
Bladder cancer can sometimes cause changes in urination, such as:
- Having to urinate more often than usual
- Pain or burning during urination
- Feeling as if you need to go right away, even when your bladder isn’t full
- Having trouble urinating or having a weak urine stream
- Having to get up to urinate many times during the night
These symptoms are more likely to be caused by a urinary tract infection , bladder stones, an overactive bladder, or an enlarged prostate . Still, its important to have them checked by a doctor so that the cause can be found and treated, if needed.
Esophageal Cancer Is One Of The Deadliest Cancers
The sixth most common cause of cancer deaths world-wide, esophageal cancer occurs in the esophagus a long, hollow tube that runs from the throat to the stomach and can occur anywhere along the esophagus. Men are more likely to develop esophageal cancer than women. While treatable, esophageal cancer is rarely curable.
“It’s an uncommon cancer,” says Dr. Shanda Blackmon, a Mayo Clinic general thoracic surgeon. “But it’s one of the deadliest cancers we know.”
Dr. Blackmon says survival rates are improving, but many people don’t realize they have esophageal cancer until it’s in the advanced stages.
In this “Mayo Clinic Q& A” podcast video, Dr. Blackmon discusses the risks, causes, symptoms and advances in treatments for esophageal cancer. She also explains what patients can expect with a diagnostic endoscopy and describes a new technique at Mayo Clinic that involves dropping a sponge down the patient’s esophagus:
For the safety of its patients, staff and visitors, Mayo Clinic has strict masking policies in place. Anyone shown without a mask was either recorded prior to COVID-19 or recorded in a nonpatient care area where social distancing and other safety protocols were followed.
A version of this article was originally published on the Mayo Clinic News Network.
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Getting To The Root Cause
If youre urine appears red, pink or cola colored, make an appointment to see your health care provider. Your health care provider typically reviews your diet, medications and medical history first. Then you may have a pelvic exam to check your vagina for issues that could have led to vaginal bleeding.
The first laboratory test you have is likely a dipstick on your urine to look for RBCs. It may need to be repeated if you are menstruating. Thats because menstrual blood in your urine sample could give a false-positive dipstick result. To check your kidney health, you may have a blood test.
If your dipstick results are a true positive, your urine is sent for a urinalysis. In a urinalysis, a technician looks for different kinds of cells that signal a health problem.
Your health care provider may want you to have a cystoscopy if theres blood in your urine and youre at risk of or have problems with your kidneys or urinary tract. In that procedure, a small tube with a camera in it is inserted into your urethra and up into your bladder.
Its important to undergo these tests when youre experiencing hematuria, because there is no widely used screening test for bladder cancer. Urinalysis is not used as a screening test because a lot of people have blood in their urine for reasons other than bladder cancer. There are some urinary biomarkers that show promise as a way to screen for bladder cancer, but these are not yet validated, says Dr. Tyson.
Early Signs Of Bladder Cancer In Women
Knowing the signs and symptoms can help you get diagnosed sooner, which may improve your prognosis. Here are five warning signs to watch for:
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Causes And Risk Factors Of Ovarian Cancer
It is often unclear what specifically causes ovarian cancer, though doctors have identified factors that can increase the risk of the disease.
Factors that can increase your risk of ovarian cancer include:
- Older age Ovarian cancer can occur at any age, however, is most common in women ages 50 to 60 years.
- Inherited gene mutations.A small percentage of ovarian cancers are caused by gene mutations you inherit from your parents. The genes known to increase the risk of ovarian cancer are called breast cancer gene 1 and breast cancer gene 2 . These genes also increase the risk of breast cancer.
- Other gene mutations.Some other gene mutations that can cause ovarian cancer include those associated with Lynch syndrome.
- Family history of ovarian cancer.People with two or more close relatives with ovarian cancer have an increased risk of the disease.
- Estrogen hormone replacement therapy.Estrogen hormone replacement therapy can be a cause of ovarian cancer, especially with long-term use and in large doses. Age when menstruation started and ended. Beginning menstruation at an early age or starting menopause at a later age, or both may increase the risk of ovarian cancer.
Signs Of Bladder Cancer: What Women Should Know
Bladder cancer may not be on your radar even if youre vigilant about getting routine GYN care. After all, its far more common among men than women, and the majority of cases affect patients over age 65. However, dont let those stats keep you from learning to spot the warning signs.
While bladder cancer isnt one of the most common cancers in women, about 18,000 women are diagnosed with bladder cancer every year in the United States . The Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network reports that women are more likely to be diagnosed with bladder cancer at an advanced stage because they may not be on the lookout for early signs.
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