Genetics And Family History
If you have family members who have bladder cancer, you have a higher risk of developing it yourself. This could also be that family members share exposure to the same chemicals that cause cancer or they share the same changes in certain genes , making it harder for their bodies to break specific toxins down, increasing their risk of bladder cancer.
If You’re Concerned About Bladder Cancer Ask Your Doctor About Cxbladder
Cxbladder is a non-invasive genomic urine test that quickly and accurately detects or rules out bladder cancer. The test combines clinical risk factor markers with genetic information, measuring five biomarker genes to detect the presence or absence of bladder cancer.
When should you consider using Cxbladder?
- When youve seen blood in your urine
- If preliminary tests have detected blood in your urine
- If you have a history of bladder cancer and are being monitored for recurrence
Cxbladder provides reliable results that will help your doctor make informed diagnosis and management decisions with you.
Symptoms In Men And Women
Women are more likely to mistake bladder cancer symptoms for urinary tract infections or menstruation.
Rarely, bladder cancer may also be misdiagnosed as interstitial cystitis in women. IC is a painful, inflammatory bladder condition that affects more women than men.
In one study, doctors found bladder cancer in about one percent out of 600 patients referred to them for IC treatment, according to an article in Urology Times.
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Change In Bladder Function
Typically, when women experience urinary problems, such as pain when urinating or urgency, they frequently think its a urinary tract infection. Often, it is.
But bladder-related issues can also signal a gynecologic or reproductive problem, like ovarian cancer.
Specific urinary symptoms associated with ovarian cancer include the following:
- Feeling pressure or pain in the bladder
- Frequent urination
- Sudden, urgent need to urinate
If these urinary symptoms are new to you and last more than several days, thats a problem, says Ahmed. Talk to your OB/GYN or primary care physician and let them know you are concerned about both bladder problems and issues with your reproductive system.
Take Steps To Reduce Your Bladder Cancer Risk
The best way to lower your bladder cancer risk is to quit smoking. Smoking is the number one risk factor for bladder cancer, says Dr. Donat. There is some data to suggest that women metabolize carcinogens from smoking differently than men. In fact, woman may have a 30 to 50% greater risk of bladder cancer than men who smoke at comparable levels.
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How Common Is Bladder Cancer
Bladder cancer is the tenth most common cancer worldwide1. On a global basis, approximately 1 in 100 men and 1 in 400 women will develop bladder cancer during their lifetime2. Rates of the disease vary by region, the highest occurring in North America and Europe. In the United States, where bladder cancer is the sixth most common cancer type diagnosed, it is estimated that approximately 81,000 new cases and 18,000 related deaths occur annually.3
Sexuality And Bladder Cancer
Having bladder cancer and treatment can change the way you feel about yourself, other people, relationships and sex. These changes can be very upsetting and hard to talk about. Doctors and nurses are very understanding and can give you support. You can ask for a referral to a counsellor or therapist who specialises in body image, sex and relationships.
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Bladder Cancer In Men
Bladder cancer is the fourth most common cancer among men, and is almost three times more common in men than in women. Similar to women, smoking is the biggest risk factor for bladder cancer in men, as smokers are twice as likely to develop this malignancy as non-smokers. The symptoms of bladder cancer in men are the same as those in women. However, men with bladder cancer tend to be diagnosed earlier than women since men would not mistake blood in the urine for menstruation or menopause. As with any cancer, there are typically more treatment options available to individuals with bladder cancer when it is detected early.
Comprehensive bladder cancer diagnostic services, treatment and supportive care services are available at Moffitt Cancer Center. We provide individualized attention to each patient to ensure the treatment plan we recommend has been tailored to address the unique challenges of their cancer. If you are showing symptoms of bladder cancer, or have been recently diagnosed and are seeking a second opinion, we invite you to speak with the experts at Moffitt. Schedule a consultation by calling or fill out a new patient registration form online. We see patients with and without referrals.
Types Of Bladder Cancer
There are several types of bladder cancer.
- Urothelial carcinoma : Urothelial carcinoma is by far the most common type of bladder cancer, accounting for over 90% of all cases. This cancer starts when the urothelial cells that line the bladder start to grow out of control. Urothelial cells also line other parts of the urinary tract. If you are diagnosed with bladder cancer, your entire urinary tract will be checked for tumors.
- Non-transitional carcinomas: Less common types of bladder cancer include squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, and small cell carcinoma.
Can Bladder Cancer Be Cured
Bladder cancer can be cured when detected and treated early. Thus, it is important to recognize early signs and seek urgent medical attention. Several treatment options are available for bladder cancer depending on factors such as the type of bladder cancer, its stage and your overall health and treatment preferences. Sometimes, a combination of treatment options may be used. The treatment of bladder cancer includes
Signs Of Bladder Cancer That Women Should Know
Even if you’re vigilant about getting routine GYN care, bladder cancer may not really be on your radar. After all, it’s far more common among men than women, and the majority of cases affect patients over age 65. But don’t let those stats keep you from learning to spot the symptoms. Many people mistakenly think bladder cancer is only a disease of older men, but there are more than 18,000 women who are diagnosed with this cancer every year in the United States.
And because women may not be on the lookout for early bladder cancer symptoms, the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network reports that women are more likely to be diagnosed with bladder cancer at an advanced stage. Knowing the symptoms can help you get diagnosed sooner, which can improve your prognosis.
Here are a few warning signs to watch for:
BLOOD IN YOUR URINE
This is the most common early symptom of bladder cancer, and it’s an easy one for women to overlookespecially because it’s typically painless and you can go weeks or even months between occurrences. Many women ignore this symptom because they connect it with menstruation or menopause. Women who have microscopic blood in the urine without symptoms of urgency/frequency or pain, often do not have a UTI, and in fact, the blood in the urine may be due to cancer or other conditions.
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Treatment For Bladder Cancer
Treatment for bladder cancer depends on how quickly the cancer is growing. Treatment is different for non-muscle invasive bladder cancer and muscle-invasive bladder cancer. You might feel confused or unsure about your treatment options and decisions. Its okay to ask your treatment team to explain the information to you more than once. Its often okay to take some time to think about your decisions.
What Every Woman Should Know
Doru Paul, MD, is triple board-certified in medical oncology, hematology, and internal medicine. He is an associate professor of clinical medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College and attending physician in the Department of Hematology and Oncology at the New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center.
Bladder cancer is cancer that starts in the cells of the bladdera hollow muscular organ in the lower pelvis that collects urine.
Older men have the highest rates of bladder cancer. Every year around 64,000 cases of bladder cancer are diagnosed in men, whereas only around 19,000 are diagnosed in women. Over 90% of cases occur in people over age 55.
Despite bladder cancer occurring more often in men, it tends to carry a worse prognosis for women.
When caught early, most cases of bladder cancer are highly treatable. Unfortunately, women are less likely than men to have their bladder cancer caught early.
Womens early symptoms, such as blood in the urine and painful urination, are easily mistaken for other more common conditions like postmenopausal bleeding and urinary tract infections . Because womens bladder cancer tends to be detected at a more advanced stage, it often carries a worse prognosis.
Read Also: Best Way To Treat Bladder Infection
What Are The 5 Warning Signs Of Bladder Cancer
The term cancer means an uncontrolled growth of cells in the body. When cancer begins in the urinary bladder, it is called bladder cancer. The urinary bladder, often simply called the bladder, is a balloon-like organ present in the lower abdomen near the pelvis. Its function is to store urine coming from the kidneys through the ureters until it is expelled from the body through the tube-like passage called the urethra. Bladder cancer affects around 57,000 men and 18,000 women each year in the United States. Depending upon the types of cells producing cancer, bladder cancer may be of several types. Transitional cell carcinoma, also called urothelial carcinoma, is the commonest type of bladder cancer. It starts in the innermost lining of the bladder, also called the transitional epithelium or urothelium. Advanced bladder cancer involves various layers of the bladder wall and may spread to nearby or distant structures such as the lymph nodes, lungs, liver and bones.
Risk Factors For Bladder Cancer
There are some things that can make you more likely to develop bladder cancer. These are called risk factors and they include:
- smoking chemicals in cigarettes can cause bladder cancer, so if you smoke, your risk is up to three times that of a non-smoker
- age most people with bladder cancer are over 60 years of age
- family history a first degree relative with bladder cancer increases risk up to nearly 2 times higher than the general population
- chemicals being in contact with certain chemicals for a long period of time, like aromatic amines, benzene products and aniline dyes, which have been linked to bladder cancer
- frequent infections of the bladder over a long period of time
- some types of radiation therapy around the pelvis, and the chemotherapy drug cyclophosphamide.
Having these risk factors doesnt mean you will develop bladder cancer. Often there is no clear reason for getting bladder cancer. If you are worried about your risk factors, ask your doctor for advice.
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Can Bladder Cancer Go Undetected For Years
If symptoms such as blood in the urine and changes in urinary habits are ignored by an individual and/or repeatedly misdiagnosed, it’s possible that bladder cancer may not be detected for months or, in some cases, even years. In most cases, however, bladder cancer is diagnosed in its early stages: approximately half are found when the cancer is entirely within the surface layer of the bladder, while a third are found when the cancer has spread to deeper layers of the bladder wall but is still limited to the bladder. In the remainder of cases, the cancer has spread to nearby tissues or lymph nodes or, rarely , to more distant parts of the body at the time of diagnosis.4
If you’re experiencing any of the warning signs of bladder cancer it’s essential to consult your doctor. If your symptoms continue to persist after your first appointment, or if new symptoms arise, be sure to arrange a follow-up visit.
Ask Your Doctor For A Referral To A Urologist
For women diagnosed with a UTI, Dr. Donat has this advice: Make sure your doctor sends a urine culture for testing, she says. If you did have a culture, make sure it came back positive to confirm that you actually have an infection. If the culture was negative or your bladder symptoms continue despite treatment, dont be afraid to ask your doctor for a referral to a urologist to get a formal evaluation.
Tests can sometimes distinguish the bleeding associated with bladder cancer from postmenopausal uterine bleeding, but the results are not always clear-cut. Your gynecologist can send a catheterized urine sample for testing to determine the source of the blood and to evaluate for gynecologic causes of the bleeding, Dr. Donat explains. If your gynecologic exam fails to identify the source of the bleeding or is inconclusive, or if your irritative bladder symptoms persist, you should also seek out the expertise of a urologist.
Hematuria may originate in the bladder or the kidneys, says Dr. Donat, so a urologist needs to check both. This is best done with a special CT scan of the urinary tract called a CT urogram and by looking in the bladder with a lighted telescope called a cystoscope. This procedure, called a cystoscopy, is usually done in an office in just a few minutes and does not require anesthesia, says Dr. Donat. A urine test called a cytology may also be sent to check for cancer cells in the urine.
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Side Effects Of Treatment For Bladder Cancer
All cancer treatments can have side effects. Your treatment team will discuss these with you before you start treatment. Talk to your doctor or nurse about any side effects you are experiencing. Some side effects can be upsetting and difficult, but there is help if you need it. Call Cancer Council or email to speak with a caring cancer nurse for support.
What Are Different Types Of Bladder Cancer
The main types of bladder cancer are:
- Urothelial carcinoma : About 90% of bladder cancers are urothelial carcinomas cancers that begin in the urothelial cells, which line the inside of the bladder. Cancer that is confined to the lining of the bladder is called non-invasive bladder cancer. Urothelial cancers can develop anywhere from the renal pelvis, ureters, bladder and urethra.
- Squamous cell: This type of bladder cancer begins in squamous cells, which are thin, flat cells that may form in the bladder after long-term infection or irritation. These cancers occur less often than urothelial carcinoma, but they may be more aggressive.
- Adenocarcinoma: This type of bladder cancer develops in the inner lining of the bladder as a result of chronic irritation and inflammation. This type of bladder cancer tends to be aggressive.
- Other: There are also rare subtypes of the bladder cancer such as small-cell carcinomas, soft tissue sarcomas and rhabdomyosarcoma
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Can You Prevent Bladder Cancer
There is no certain way of preventing bladder cancer. You may, however, reduce your risk of bladder cancer by following these tips:
- Avoid smoking including secondhand or passive smoke coming from other peopleâs cigarettes, cigars or pipes.
- Avoid exposure to certain chemicals particularly the ones used in dye, paint, rubber, leather, heavy metal or petroleum products manufacturing.
- Avoid exposure to diesel fumes.
- Drink plenty of nonsugary, nonalcoholic fluids. Drinking enough water helps flush out wastes from the body, thus, lowering your risk of cancer.
- Consume healthy foods particularly fruits and vegetables.
Cancer Symptoms In Women
Breast lump or change. Although it’s a hallmark symptom of breast cancer, most lumps aren’t cancer. They’re often fluid-filled cysts or noncancerous tumors.
Still, see your doctor right away if you find any new or changing growths in your breasts, just to make sure.
Also get these changes checked out:
- Redness or scaling of the skin over the breast
- Breast pain
- Lump under your arm
- Fluid that isn’t breast milk leaking from the nipple
Bleeding between periods or after menopause. Bleeding from the vagina during women’s reproductive years is usually theirÃ monthly period. When it happens after menopause or outside of normal periods, cervical or endometrial cancer is a possibility. Call your doctor if you have any bleeding that’s unusual for you.
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Causes And Risk Factors
As with many cancers, both hereditary and environmental factors affect your risk of bladder cancer. The bladder receives urine from your kidneys, which filter your blood. The bladder, therefore, has high levels of exposure to various environmental toxins and carcinogens.
Age is the most important risk factor. Over 90% of bladder cancers occur in those over age 55, and 80% occur in those 65 and older.
Smoking is the main modifiable risk factor. Smokers have a three times higher risk than nonsmokers. Smoking accounts for about 50% to 60% of all cases.
Exposure to certain industrial chemicals, such as those used in paints and dyes, is thought to account for another 20% of cases. Other factorslike genetics, hormones, using certain herbal supplements, and consuming contaminated drinking watercan also affect your risk.
What Are The Symptoms
- Frequent or urgent need to urinate
- Painful or burning during urination
- Feeling the need to urinate, but not being able to pass urine
- Lower back pain on 1 side of the body
These symptoms can be very similar to the symptoms of a bladder infection or a urinary tract infection . Blood in the urine may be confused with menstruation or menopause. Talk to your doctor if you have any of these symptoms, or if you take antibiotics for a bladder infection or UTI and the symptoms remain. Bladder cancer treatments works best when the cancer is found early.3
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