Advanced Symptoms Of Bladder Cancer
Bladder cancer is considered advanced when the tumor has grown and penetrated the bladder lining and surrounding layers of tissue and muscle. At this stage, the cancer may have spread to other parts of the body . Symptoms of advanced bladder cancer include the following:
- Urination problems: Inability to urinate
- Pain in the lower back: Another indication the tumor has spread is pain, particularly in the area above your pubic bone or the flank area. Pain in your perineum might also occur if your bladder cancer has reached tissues nearby. Pain may only be on one side.
- Weight loss or loss of appetite: You lose weight without trying, or youve lost your appetite and arent as hungry as usual.
- Feeling weak or fatigued: You may feel lethargic and extremely tired a lot of the time.
- Bone pain: If your cancer has spread to the bone, it can cause bone pain or a bone fracture.
- Swollen feet: Bladder cancer that has spread to your lymph nodes, for instance, could cause your feet to swell.
If the bladder cancer has spread to another part of your body, you could develop symptoms specific to that particular area. For example:
Once again, these symptoms could be due to something other than bladder cancer, so be sure to have your doctor check them out.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Bladder Cancer In A Dog
The common symptoms of bladder cancer are almost identical to those of bacterial infections of the urinary tract, and they include:
- Frequent urination in small amounts
- Painful urination
- Blood spots in the urine
- Persistent urinary tract or bladder infection even with treatment
- Urination accidents in the house.
Not all clinical signs of bladder cancer in dogs are related to the urinary tract. For example, bladder tumors can also cause some non-specific health problems such as:
When To See A Healthcare Provider
In most instances, the physical exam of a person with bladder cancer is normal and is only going to be abnormal in advanced cases. Usually, it is symptoms like blood in the urine or irritation when urinating that bring a person to the healthcare provider.
You may be surprised to learn that there is currently no standard screening test for bladder cancer. That being said, a healthcare provider may choose to screen a person who is at a very high risk of developing bladder cancer. This could include someone who has had a prolonged chemical exposure or someone with certain birth defects of the bladder.
It is also important to remember that screening is different from surveillance. Surveillance means that a person has already been diagnosed with bladder cancer and is now being monitored.
Bladder Cancer Healthcare Provider Discussion Guide
Get our printable guide for your next healthcare provider’s appointment to help you ask the right questions.
As of now, the decision to screen for bladder cancer is made on a case-by-case basis and is not very common. In other words, there are no standard guidelines for when or how to screen a person for bladder cancer. However, research on bladder cancer screening and detection is evolving.
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Stage 0 Bladder Cancer
Stage 0 describes non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer. It is found only on the surface of the inner lining of the bladder. This stage is also known as in situ. Stage 0 bladder cancer is typically treated with transurethral resection , followed by either close follow-up without further treatment or intravesical therapy using bacillus Calmette-Guérin therapy to try to keep the cancer from coming back.
There Are Three Ways That Cancer Spreads In The Body
Cancer can spread through tissue, the lymph system, and the blood:
- Tissue. The cancer spreads from where it began by growing into nearby areas.
- Lymph system. The cancer spreads from where it began by getting into the lymph system. The cancer travels through the lymph vessels to other parts of the body.
- Blood. The cancer spreads from where it began by getting into the blood. The cancer travels through the blood vessels to other parts of the body.
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What Do Women Need To Know About Bladder Cancer
Bladder cancer can affect women at any age. Smoking is the greatest controllable risk factor. Smokers get bladder cancer twice as often as non-smokers. However, up to 50% of bladder cancer patients may have no history of smoking. Learn more about the risks associated with bladder cancer.
Bladder cancer symptoms may be identical to those of a bladder infection and the two problems may occur together. If symptoms do not disappear after treatment with antibiotics, insist upon further evaluation to determine whether bladder cancer is present. Bladder cancer has the highest recurrence rate of any form of cancerbetween 50-80 percent.
Watch our informative webinar, Women and Bladder Cancer the Unspoken Demographic.
What Will Happen After Treatment
You’ll be glad when treatment is over. But its hard not to worry about cancer coming back. Even when cancer never comes back, people still worry about this. For years after treatment ends, you will see your cancer doctor. Be sure to go to all of your follow-up visits. People who have had bladder cancer are at high risk of having a second bladder cancer.
If you have no signs of cancer, most experts advise seeing with your doctor every 3 to 6 months. These visits might include urine tests, blood work, and other tests. If you still have your bladder, you will need regular exams of your bladder, too. The time between doctor visits may be longer after a few years if no new cancers are seen.
Having cancer and dealing with treatment can be hard, but it can also be a time to look at your life in new ways. You might be thinking about how to improve your health. Call us or talk to your doctor to find out what you can do to feel better.
You cant change the fact that you have cancer. What you can change is how you live the rest of your life making healthy choices and feeling as well as you can.
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Stage Ii Bladder Cancer
Stage II cancer has invaded the muscle of the bladder wall but is still confined to the bladder. Depending on the extent and grade of the cancer, we may recommend a partial or total cystectomy. Some people may need chemotherapy before surgery. We may be able to remove the tumor with TUR followed by radiation and chemotherapy.
How Is Bladder Cancer Diagnosed
Frequently, a doctor will diagnose bladder cancer after an individual tells them about blood in their urine. When there’s enough blood in the urine to see it with the naked eye, it’s called “gross hematuria.” If you have small traces of blood in your urine you can’t see, it’s “microhematuria.” As mentioned previously, only a urine test can detect microscopic hematuria.
Procedures and tests your doctor may use to diagnose your bladder cancer include the following.
During cystoscopy, your doctor will insert a cystoscope through your urethra. This tool has a lens that allows them to see inside your bladder and urethra to examine their structures for signs of cancer.
2. Urine Cytology
The doctor analyzes a sample of your urine under a microscope, checking for cancer cells.
3. Genomic Urine Test
This is a lab test that measures several biomarker genes in your urine to accurately assess the probability that you have cancer.
During a cystoscopy procedure, your doctor might pass a specific tool into your bladder through the scope to biopsy for testing.
5. Imaging Tests
Imaging tests like retrograde pyelogram or computerized tomography allow your doctor to view and examine your urinary tract structures.
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Treatment Of Stage Iv Bladder Cancer
For information about the treatments listed below, see the Treatment Option Overview section.
Treatment of stage IV bladder cancer that has not spread to other parts of the body may include the following:
- Urinary diversion or cystectomy as palliative therapy to relieve symptoms and improve quality of life.
Treatment of stage IV bladder cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, such as the lung, bone, or liver, may include the following:
- External radiation therapy as palliative therapy to relieve symptoms and improve quality of life.
- Urinary diversion or cystectomy as palliative therapy to relieve symptoms and improve quality of life.
- Aclinical trial of new anticancer drugs.
Use our clinical trial search to find NCI-supported cancer clinical trials that are accepting patients. You can search for trials based on the type of cancer, the age of the patient, and where the trials are being done. General information about clinical trials is also available.
How Is Bladder Cancer Staged
Cancer staging describes how much the cancer has grown and invaded the area, explaining the extent of the disease. Bladder cancer is often found at an early stage, as hematuria starts early in the course of the disease. Sometimes bladder cancer can advance to invasive disease before causing symptoms. To best understand staging, you need to know how cancer spreads and advances in stage.
Cancers can spread and disrupt how normal organs work. Bladder cancers often begin very superficially, involving only the lining of the bladder. Bladder cancers can invade the bladder wall, involving the muscular layers of the wall. As bladder cancer grows it can invade the entire way through the wall and into the fat surrounding the bladder or even into other organs . This local extension is the most common way bladder cancer spreads.
When cancer spreads to another area in the body, that area is called metastasis. Cancer can also spread through the lymph system and the bloodstream. Bladder cancer often spreads locally or to lymph nodes before spreading distantly, though this is not always the case. The lungs and bones are the most common areas for metastases to develop. When bladder cancer spreads to another area, it is still bladder cancer. For instance, if it spreads to the lung, it is not called lung cancer, but bladder cancer that has metastasized to the lung. If we look at the affected lung tissue under a microscope, it will look like bladder cancer cells.
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Lung Cancer Doubling Time
Doctors may describe the doubling of a lung tumor in terms of either volume or metabolic doubling time. What they mean is, how long it takes for it to double in size. But there are more limitations, similar to what we have already seen, when estimating doubling time from models. Thats because:
- The models assume a continuous rate of growth, and this is not the case.
- Its hard to design studies in humans for ethical reasons. The results from animal or lab studies dont necessarily reflect what happens in people.
- There are limits to estimating tumor size based on imaging, such as a CT scan.
Medical Fitness For Chemotherapy
Before considering palliative chemotherapy for metastatic bladder cancer, all patients should be evaluated for medical fitness for chemotherapy. The assessment should incorporate medical and physiologic considerations and include evaluation of renal and cardiac function, as well as performance status. A medical fitness assessment stratifies patients into medically fit or unfit patients, and this classification is used to determine treatment options.
Table 1. Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Performance Status Definitions
Michael J. Zelefsky MD, … Jonathan E. Rosenberg MD, in, 2010
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Patients Can Enter Clinical Trials Before During Or After Starting Their Cancer Treatment
Some clinical trials only include patients who have not yet received treatment. Other trials test treatments for patients whose cancer has not gotten better. There are also clinical trials that test new ways to stop cancer from recurring or reduce the side effects of cancer treatment.
Clinical trials are taking place in many parts of the country. Information about clinical trials supported by NCI can be found on NCIs clinical trials search webpage. Clinical trials supported by other organizations can be found on the ClinicalTrials.gov website.
Transurethral Resection Of A Bladder Tumor
A procedure called transurethral resection is commonly used to learn more about the bladder cancer. This procedure is often also part of treatment for early-stage or non-muscle invasive bladder cancer. During this procedure, a telescope is inserted into your bladder, and the tumor is then removed by scraping it from the bladder wall. Other tests may include a CT scan of the abdomen and pelvis, MRI scans, X-rays, and bone scans.3
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Treatment For Stage 2 And Stage 3
Treatment for stage 2 and stage 3 bladder cancer may include:
- removal of part of the bladder in addition to chemotherapy
- removal of the whole bladder, which is a radical cystectomy, followed by surgery to create a new way for urine to exit the body
- chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or immunotherapy that can be done to shrink the tumor before surgery, to treat the cancer when surgery isnt an option, to kill remaining cancer cells after surgery, or to prevent the cancer from recurring
A Lump In Your Pelvis
In the later stages of bladder cancer, you may be able to feel a lump in your pelvis. This occurs when the cancer has grown into the muscle wall of your bladder at this stage, it may have started spreading to other parts of your body too.
If left untreated, bladder cancer can spread to nearby tissues, including your bones, lungs and liver. Symptoms will depend on where the cancer has spread to.
If it has spread to your bones, you may develop weak bones that fracture easily, persistent bone pain and/or lumps over your bones.
If it has spread to your liver, your abdomen may swell, your stools may appear white and chalky, and you may develop jaundice.
If it has spread to your lungs, you may feel constantly out of breath, have recurrent chest infections and a persistent cough.
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Experimental Treatments For Advanced Prostate Cancer
Researchers are currently testing many new approaches and treatments for prostate cancer, including new medications. These include the following:
Immune checkpoint inhibitors
The immune system uses âcheckpointsâ to stop it from attacking the bodyâs healthy cells. These checkpoints are proteins on immune cells.
Cancer cells often use these checkpoints to keep the immune system from attacking them.
Immune checkpoint inhibitors are drugs that can these checkpoints on cancer cells. Inhibiting these checkpoints can allow a personâs immune system to attack the cancer cells.
Chimeric antigen receptor T cell therapy
This treatment involves taking immune cells from the personâs blood. A scientist then alters these cells in a lab to have receptors called chimeric antigen receptors on their surface.
These receptors help the cells attach to proteins on the surface of prostate cells. A scientist then multiplies these altered T cells in a lab before putting them back into the personâs blood.
Scientists hope these T cells can then find prostate cancer cells and launch a targeted immune attack.
However, this treatment is complicated and may have some serious side effects. This means it is currently only available as part of clinical trials.
Targeted drug therapies
Targeted drug therapies can act on specific parts of cancer cells and the environments surrounding them.
Two possible targeted therapy treatments are:
Treating prostate cancer that has spread to the bones
Prognosis And Survival Rates For Bladder Cancer
When someone is diagnosed with bladder cancer, their doctor will give them a prognosis. A prognosis is the doctors opinion of how likely the cancer will spread and the chances of getting better. A prognosis depends on the type and stage of cancer, as well as the persons age and general health.
Bladder cancer can usually be effectively treated if it is found before it spreads outside the bladder.
If you have bladder cancer, your doctor will talk to you about your individual situation when working out your prognosis. Every persons experience is different, and there is support available to you.
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What About Other Treatments That I Hear About
When you have cancer you might hear about other ways to treat cancer or treat your symptoms. These may not always be standard medical treatments. These treatments can be vitamins, herbs, special diets, and other things. You may be curious about these treatments.
Some of these are known to help, but many have not been tested. Some have been shown not to be helpful. A few have even been found to be harmful. Talk to your doctor about anything you’re thinking about using, whether its a vitamin, a diet, or anything else.
Questions To Ask The Doctor
- What treatment do you think is best for me?
- Whats the goal of this treatment? Do you think it could cure the cancer?
- Will treatment include surgery? If so, who will do the surgery?
- What will the surgery be like?
- How will I pee after surgery?
- Will I have other types of treatment, too?
- Whats the goal of these treatments?
- What side effects could I have from these treatments?
- Is there a clinical trial that might be right for me?
- What about treatments like special vitamins or diets that friends tell me about? How will I know if they are safe?
- What should I do to be ready for treatment?
- Is there anything I can do to help the treatment work better?
- Whats the next step?
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Dad Is Dyingaggressive Bladder Cancer Which Has Spread
My dad is dying. The cancer has spread and got a hold of him. Every time I think it cant get any worse for him, it seems to find a way to make life a little bit more **** for him.Its the hardest thing to watch.
How do you lift someones spirit when, life is a daily struggle and things never get better only ever worse?
i assumed that dying wouldnt hurt as the pain would be controlled with drugs, but the pained expression in my dads eyes is unbearable at times and pain is not the only effect cancer has on a body.
I desperatly want him to be ok, but he isnt going to be, I wish he could pass peacefully rather than this intolerable waiting and watching him suffer indignity after indignity while this thing gets worse.
How long will he have to carry on like this no one has any answers. everyones different they say. with each new issue thoughstrange lumps, unexpected bleeding,. do you call a doctor, contact the hospice. or ignore it as hes not going to get better..theres no clear instructions.
Feeling helpless. on how to help and ensure what time is left is not horrific for my dad