Smoking Can Affect The Risk Of Bladder Cancer
Anything that increases your chance of getting a disease is called a risk factor. Having a risk factor does not mean that you will get cancer not having risk factors doesn’t mean that you will not get cancer. Talk to your doctor if you think you may be at risk for bladder cancer.
Risk factors for bladder cancer include the following:
- Using tobacco, especially smoking cigarettes.
- Having a family history of bladder cancer.
- Having certain changes in the genes that are linked to bladder cancer.
- Being exposed to paints, dyes, metals, or petroleum products in the workplace.
- Past treatment with radiation therapy to the pelvis or with certain anticancer drugs, such as cyclophosphamide or ifosfamide.
- Taking Aristolochia fangchi, a Chinese herb.
- Drinking water from a well that has high levels of arsenic.
- Drinking water that has been treated with chlorine.
- Having a history of bladder infections, including bladder infections caused by Schistosoma haematobium.
- Using urinarycatheters for a long time.
Older age is a risk factor for most cancers. The chance of getting cancer increases as you get older.
What Affects Survival Rate And What Treatment Options Are Available
After diagnosing bladder cancer, your doctor will try to determine if it has advanced and if it has, how far. Doctors use a staging process to describe how far the tumor has penetrated the surrounding tissue and muscle, and to what extent it has spread to other parts of the body or metastasized. The staging process helps the doctor decide on the best way to treat it.
The American Joint Committee on Cancer TNM system is the most widely used staging system for bladder cancer. It relies on three critical factors:
- T: The letter “T” stands for “tumor” and describes the degree to which the tumor has grown through the wall of your bladder and into neighboring tissue and muscles.
- N: The letter “N” stands for “nodes” and notes if the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes. Lymph nodes are groups of immune system cells about the size of beans. When cancer starts to spread, it frequently spreads to the lymph nodes nearest the bladder first.
- M: The letter “M” stands for “metastasized,” which means the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, such as the liver, lungs or other lymph nodes farther from the bladder.
The American Cancer Society provides a detailed breakdown of the TNM system. Letters or numbers after T, N and M offer more detail related to the progression of the cancer.
Understanding The Statistics: Cancer Survival
It is important to remember that all cancer survival numbers are based on averages across huge numbers of people. These numbers cannot predict what will happen in your individual case.
Survival rates will not tell you how long you will live after you have been diagnosed with bladder cancer. But, these numbers can give you an idea of how likely your treatment will be successful. Also, survival rates take into account your age at diagnosis but not whether you have other health conditions too.
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Types Of Bladder Cancer
Bladder cancer can be described based on where it is found:
- non-muscle invasive the cancer has not spread to other layers of the bladder or muscle
- muscle-invasive the cancer has spread to other layers of the bladder, muscle or other parts of the body.
There are 3 main types of bladder cancer:
- urothelial carcinoma 80 to 90% of bladder cancers sometimes called transitional cell carcinoma
- squamous cell carcinoma 1 to 2% of all bladder cancers. It is more likely to be invasive
- adenocarcinoma 1 to 2% of all bladder cancers. It is more likely to be invasive .
There are other, less common types of bladder cancer. Treatment for these may be different. Speak to your doctor or nurse for information about these types of cancer.
Bladder Cancer Clinical Trials
Major drug companies continually research and develop new medications and treatments for bladder cancer that must be shown to be safe and effective before doctors can prescribe them to patients. Through clinical trials, researchers test the effects of new drugs on a group of volunteers who have bladder cancer. Following a strict protocol and using carefully controlled conditions, researchers evaluate the investigational drugs under development and measure the ability of the new drug to treat bladder cancer, its safety, and any possible side effects.
Some patients are reluctant to take part in clinical trials for fear of getting no treatment at all. But patients who participate in clinical trials receive the most effective therapy currently available for the condition, or they may receive treatments that are being evaluated for future use. These bladder cancer drugs may be even more effective than current treatment. Comparing them in a clinical trial is the only way to find out.
Hereâs where to find information about whether a bladder cancer clinical trial is right for you.
This website lists industry-sponsored clinical trials that are actively recruiting patients.
American Cancer Society: âBladder Cancer Treatment,â âBladder Cancer Surgery,â âRadiation Therapy for Bladder Cancer,â âChemotherapy for bladder cancer,â âFDA Approves New Immunotherapy Drug for Bladder Cancer,â âImmunotherapy for bladder cancer.â
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Is There Any Preparation Involved
Its important that you follow your doctors instructions for what to do before and after the procedure. Tell your doctor about all the medications you take. Certain immunosuppressants, antimicrobial therapies, and radiation therapies can interfere with BCG treatment.
Youll be advised to limit your fluid intake for four hours prior to the procedure. You might be told to avoid caffeine for a few hours longer than that, because its a diuretic and could make things more difficult.
Youll be asked to urinate just before the procedure so youll be able to hold the medication in your bladder for several hours.
Why Are Men More Likely To Get Bladder Cancer Than Women
Men are more likely to develop bladder cancer than women are. Exposure to certain chemicals. Your kidneys play a key role in filtering harmful chemicals from your bloodstream and moving them into your bladder. Because of this, its thought that being around certain chemicals may increase the risk of bladder cancer.
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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:
Treatment For Advanced Bladder Cancer
If bladder cancer has spread to other parts of the body, it is known as advanced or metastatic bladder cancer. You may be offered one or a combination of the following treatments to help control the cancer and ease symptoms:
- systemic chemotherapy
- radiation therapy.
Immunotherapy uses the bodys own immune system to fight cancer. BCG is a type of immunotherapy treatment that has been used for many years to treat non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer.
A new group of immunotherapy drugs called checkpoint inhibitors work by helping the immune system to recognise and attack the cancer. A checkpoint immunotherapy drug called pembrolizumab is now available in Australia for some people with urothelial cancer that has spread beyond the bladder. The drug is given directly into a vein through a drip, and the treatment may be repeated every 2 to 4 weeks for up to 2 years.
Other types of checkpoint immunotherapy drugs may become available soon.
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Treating Stage Ii Bladder Cancer
These cancers have invaded the muscle layer of the bladder wall , but no farther. Transurethral resection is typically the first treatment for these cancers, but it’s done to help determine the extent of the cancer rather than to try to cure it.
When the cancer has invaded the muscle, radical cystectomy is the standard treatment. Lymph nodes near the bladder are often removed as well. If cancer is in only one part of the bladder, a partial cystectomy may be done instead. But this is possible in only a small number of patients.
Radical cystectomy may be the only treatment for people who are not well enough to get chemo. But most doctors prefer to give chemo before surgery because it’s been shown to help patients live longer than surgery alone. When chemo is given first, surgery is delayed. This is not a problem if the chemo shrinks the bladder cancer, but it might be harmful if the tumor continues to grow during chemo.
If cancer is found in nearby lymph nodes, radiation may be needed after surgery. Another option is chemo, but only if it wasn’t given before surgery.
For people who have had surgery, but the features of the tumor show it is at high risk of coming back, the immunotherapy drug, nivolumab, might be offered. When given after surgery, nivolumab is given for up to one year.
For patients who cant have surgery because of other serious health problems, TURBT, radiation, chemotherapy, or some combination of these may be options.
Palliative Or Supportive Care
If your cancer is at an advanced stage and canât be cured, your medical team should discuss how the cancer will progress and which treatments are available to ease the symptoms.
You can be referred to a palliative care team, who can provide support and practical help, including pain relief.
Page last reviewed: 01 July 2021 Next review due: 01 July 2024
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Take Charge Of Your Health With Cxbladder
Early detection saves lives and is a crucial factor when it comes to the treatment of bladder cancer. Cxbladder is a clinically proven cutting-edge genomic urine test that quickly and accurately detects or rules out bladder cancer in patients presenting with blood in the urine and those being monitored for recurrence. The test works at a molecular level, measuring five biomarker genes to detect the presence or absence of bladder cancer.
Cxbladder is discreet, quick, non-invasive and painless, typically giving you meaningful results within five working days. It comes as a suite of test options, each optimized for a different point in the patient journey.
- Triage: Incorporates known bladder cancer risk factors to help rapidly rule out the disease.
- Detect: Designed to work alongside other tests to improve overall detection accuracy.
- Monitor: Optimised for bladder cancer surveillance, reducing the need for further invasive tests
Cxbladder gives you peace of mind and will help your doctor make informed treatment decisions. Speak to your general practitioner or urologist to learn more about Cxbladder and which test might be right for you. You can also contact our Customer Service Team directly.Contact us for more information
When To See A Doctor
There are a few side effects that can be especially dangerous, so make sure to talk to your doctor if you notice that you:
- Have a severe skin rash
- Are wheezing or having difficulty breathing
- Are finding swallowing to be difficult
- Have a high fever that isnt lowered with Tylenol or other over-the-counter fever reducers
Coping With Bladder Problems During And After Treatment
During your treatment, you may have symptoms such as:
- passing urine more often
- rushing to the toilet to pass urine
- a burning sensation when you pass urine.
For most people, these symptoms last for a few days after treatment. Your urologist or specialist nurse can talk to you about things you can do to help. They will give you medication if needed.
Some people can have problems controlling their bladder during and for some time after treatment. This is called urinary incontinence. This can be a rare side effect of having lots of cystoscopies.
It is important that you talk to your doctor or nurse if this is a problem for you. They may refer you to a continence adviser or specialist physiotherapist who can give you advice. The Bladder and Bowel Community can also help.
- Visit our bladder cancer forum to talk with people who have been affected by bladder cancer, share your experience, and ask an expert your questions.
How Do You Treat Bladder Cancer
- Surgical Treatment. Surgery may be recommended to remove all or part of the bladder tumor .
- Chemotherapy. Bladder cancer does not typically respond well to chemotherapy, but certain chemotherapy protocols can extend survival time.
- Radiation Therapy.
- Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug Therapy.
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Where Is The Bladder Located
The bladder is a hollow organ that stores urine before it leaves your body. It sits in the lowest part of your belly, called your pelvis. Urine is made in your kidneys. Tubes called ureters connect your kidneys to the bladder. Urine flows through the ureters and into your bladder, where its stored. When you urinate , the bladder squeezes the urine out through a tube called the urethra.
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.
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What Is The Most Common Type Of Bladder Cancer
Urothelial carcinoma : Urothelial carcinoma is by far the most common type of bladder cancer, accounting for over 90% of all cases. 6 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.
Choosing To Stop Treatment Or Choosing No Treatment At All
For some people, when treatments have been tried and are no longer controlling the cancer, it could be time to weigh the benefits and risks of continuing to try new treatments. Whether or not you continue treatment, there are still things you can do to help maintain or improve your quality of life.
Some people, especially if the cancer is advanced, might not want to be treated at all. There are many reasons you might decide not to get cancer treatment, but its important to talk to your doctors and you make that decision. Remember that even if you choose not to treat the cancer, you can still get supportive care to help with pain or other symptoms.
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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.
- 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.
- A clinical 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.
Treatment Of Bladder Cancer By Stage
Most of the time, treatment of bladder cancer is based on the tumors clinical stage when it’s first diagnosed. This includes how deep it’s thought to have grown into the bladder wall and whether it has spread beyond the bladder. Other factors, such as the size of the tumor, how fast the cancer cells are growing , and a persons overall health and preferences, also affect treatment options.
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So What Exactly Is Bladder Cancer And How Common Is It
More than 61,000 men and 18,000 women are diagnosed with bladder cancer each year in the United States. Most of these men and women are over 70 years of age.
Bladder tumors can be benign or malignant. Benign tumors are not cancerous and are not life threatening. They dont invade tissue around them and once treated or removed, usually do not return. Malignant tumors are cancerous and have a high rate of recurrence.
Bladder cancer can present with a variety of symptoms. Some of these symptoms are:
- Blood in the urine and urgent need to urinate or having to urinate more often
- Feeling as though you need to urinate, but with no results
- Needing to strain or feeling pain when urinating
While doctors cant explain why bladder cancer occurs, they have identified some risk factors.
- Working with certain chemicals in the workplace
- Smoking is the biggest risk factor
- People who have previously been treated with certain cancer drugs or radiation to the stomach
- Caucasians are about twice as likely to have bladder cancer than African Americans
- Age is also a factor, as 9 out of 10 people with bladder cancer are over 55 years of age
For those who have been diagnosed with bladder cancer, there are a variety of treatment options depending on the grade of the tumor, where it is located, and if it has spread to other areas. Sometimes patients may need more than one type of treatment.