What Tests Will I Have If My Doctor Suspects Bladder Cancer Or Another Urinary Problem
Your doctor will want to analyze your urine to determine if an infection could be a cause of your symptoms. A microscopic examination of the urine, called cytology, will look for cancer cells.
A cystoscopy is the main procedure to identify and diagnose bladder cancer. In this procedure, a lighted telescope is inserted into your bladder from the urethra to view the inside of the bladder and, when done under anesthesia, take tissue samples , which are later examined under a microscope for signs of cancer. When this procedure is done in the doctors office, local anesthesia gel is placed into the urethra prior to the procedure to minimize the discomfort.
If the diagnosis of bladder cancer is made, then the next step is to remove the tumor for detailed staging and diagnosis.
Transurethral resection is a procedure done under general or spinal anesthesia in the operating room. A telescope is inserted into the bladder and the tumor is removed by scraping it from the bladder wall , using a special cystoscope . This procedure is diagnostic as well as therapeutic.
This often can be done as an outpatient procedure, with patients discharged from hospital the same day. After removal, the tumor is analyzed by a pathologist, who will determine the type of tumor, the tumor grade and the depth of invasion. The purpose of the procedure is to remove the tumor and obtain important staging information .
Symptoms Of Bladder Cancer In Women
i have been to the doctors 4 times in as many weeks with blood in my urine. The doctor prescribed a course of antibiotics which didn’t work so prescribed another which also didn’t work. Results from the urine samples stated no infection in any of the samples so took the antibiotics unnecessarily. So the doc sent me to radiology to see whether I had kidney stones. The result were I didn’t have kidney stones either. Week 4 all samples of urine have blood in them no infection and no kidney stones. Now bladder cancer has been mentioned and I’m back at hospital next week for further tests. Has anyone out there had similar or knows someone with similar results. Any feed back would be much appreciated. Thank you.
What Are The Risks Of Bladder Cancer
No single factor is directly connected to bladder cancer, but factors that can increase the risk include:
- Age: Bladder cancer typically affects people age 55 and older.
- Smoking: Carcinogens from tobacco smoke come in contact with the lining of the bladder. Smokers are three times as likely as non-smokers to get bladder cancer.
- Family history: There is evidence that bladder cancer may have a genetic component.
- Industrial chemicals: Chemicals known as aromatic amines are often used in the dye industry. Workers who have daily exposure to them, such as painters, machinists and hairdressers, may be at a higher risk for bladder cancer.
- Drinking contaminated water: This includes water that has been treated with chlorine or drinking water with a naturally high level of arsenic, which occurs in many rural communities in the United States,.
- Taking certain herb: Supplements such as Aristolochia fangchi, a Chinese herb, sometimes used for weight loss has been linked to higher rates of bladder cancer.
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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:
Evaluation For Metastatic Disease
Complete blood count, blood chemistry tests , liver function tests, chest radiography, and CT or magnetic resonance imaging of the abdomen and pelvis should be included in the metastatic workup for invasive bladder cancer.12 A bone scan may be performed if the alkaline phosphatase level is elevated or if symptoms suggesting bone metastasis are present.
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What Are The Roles Of Chemotherapy Immunotherapy And Biological Therapy In The Treatment Of Bladder Cancer
Chemotherapy is the use of powerful drugs to kill cancer. In bladder cancer, chemotherapy may be given alone or with surgery or radiation therapy or both. It may be given before or after the other therapies. Chemotherapy can usually be given in a doctor’s office or outpatient treatment clinic, but it may require a stay in the hospital
- Stages Ta, T1, and CIS bladder cancer can be treated with intravesical chemotherapy, which means the placement of treatments directly into the bladder. After removal of the tumor, one or more liquid drugs are introduced into the bladder via a thin, plastic tube called a catheter. The drugs remain in the bladder for several hours and are then drained out, commonly with urination. This is often performed after the initial surgery to diagnose and remove, if possible, the bladder cancer to help kill any cancer cells that may be floating in the bladder after the surgery. Depending on the surgical findings and pathology, this treatment may be repeated once a week for several weeks.
- Cancer that has invaded deeply into the bladder, lymph nodes, or other organs requires systemic or intravenous chemotherapy. The cancer-fighting drugs are injected into the bloodstream via a vein. This way, the drugs get into almost every part of the body and, ideally, can kill cancer cells wherever they are.
Immunotherapy or Biological Therapy
Biological therapy takes advantage of the body’s natural ability to fight cancer.
What Is Yorkshire Cancer Research Doing About Bladder Cancer
In November 2020, Yorkshire Cancer Research announced £1.5 million of funding for a major clinical trial to explore the possibility of an early detection programme for bladder cancer. The study will test the idea of screening people at high risk of developing bladder cancer, using a combination of self-testing kits and early detection clinics in the community.
Professor Jim Catto from University of Sheffield, who is leading the study, said:This funding will allow us to undertake the feasibility steps for a comprehensive early detection programme for bladder cancer across Yorkshire. It will assess how well we can detect bladder cancer in several different Yorkshire populations and will look to confirm if the idea has potential to save lives.
If you have any potential symptom of bladder cancer, its important to contact your GP as soon as possible. It might not be serious, but if it does turn out to be bladder cancer, the earlier it is caught the better the chances of successful treatment.
Brown et al . The fraction of cancer attributable to modifiable risk factors in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and the United Kingdom in 2015. British Journal of Cancer. 118. Pp 1130-1141.
Brown T, Slack R, Rushton L British Occupational Cancer Burden Study Group. Occupational cancer in Britain. Urinary tract cancers: bladder and kidney. Br J Cancer. 2012 Jun 19 107 Suppl 1:S76-84.
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Evaluation Of Upper Urinary Tract
Additional workup for all patients with bladder cancer includes evaluation of the upper urinary tract with intravenous urography , renal ultrasonography, computed tomography urography, or magnetic resonance urography.21,22 Renal ultrasonography alone is insufficient to complete the evaluation of hematuria in a patient with bladder cancer because it cannot delineate details of the urinary collecting system. Traditional IVU has been largely replaced by CT urography because of increased detail and data combined in the CT .
For patients unable to undergo contrast injection , magnetic resonance urography may be used to evaluate the upper urinary tract. These tests are useful for disease staging and excluding other causes of hematuria. Pelvic imaging should be performed before transurethral resection to improve staging accuracy because postoperative inflammation mimics the appearance of tumor infiltration.21 Pelvic imaging also may detect synchronous upper tract urothelial cancer, which can occur in 5 percent of patients with bladder cancer.22
Painful Sex During Treatment
Sex can become a painful experience while you undergo treatment for bladder cancer.
Radiation can irritate a mans urethra, which can cause a sharp pain during ejaculation. This pain usually stops when treatment is over.
Bladder cancer surgery can also affect a mans ability to produce semen. This can lead to dry orgasms, where little or no semen comes out.
For women who undergo removal of the urinary bladder, removal of the front part of the vagina is often included. As a result, sex can become less comfortable for some women.
Pelvic radiation can cause scarring, which may narrow the vagina and lead to painful sex.
Some women may also experience vaginal dryness during certain cancer therapies, which can make sex uncomfortable and painful without lubrication.
Even though changes may happen to your body during your bladder cancer treatment, sex can still be an enjoyable experience with some adjustments.
Keep the lines of communication open with your partner and explore alternative techniques to penetrative intercourse. Consider asking your oncology team about specific recommendations that may work best for you.
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What To Watch For: Symptoms That Led To Our Bladder Cancer Diagnosis
You have bladder cancer. Four words that can instantly send your life spinning into uncharted territory.
When you get that diagnosis, everything seems to hit at once. The doctor appointments. The uncertainty. And the emotions. All of the emotions. How is it that someone can feel everything and nothing all at the same time?
Looking back, were there telltale signs that something was not quite right? We asked our BladderCancer.net community what initial symptoms led to their bladder cancer diagnosis. Here is what they said.
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.
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Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms: Location Matters
Initially, pancreatic cancer tends to be silent and painless as it grows. By the time it’s large enough to cause symptoms, pancreatic cancer has generally grown outside the pancreas. Because of the location of the pancreas in the body, symptoms include:
- Jaundice. As pancreatic cancer blocks duct that releases bile into the intestine , the ingredients of bile build up in the blood. This turns the skin and the eyes yellow, a condition called jaundice. The same blockage causes dark urine, light colored stools, and itching.
- Abdominal pain. Pancreatic cancer can cause a dull ache in the upper abdomen radiating to the back. The pain may come and go.
- Back pain.
- Bloating. Some people with pancreatic cancer have a sense of early fullness with meals or an uncomfortable swelling in the abdomen.
In general, symptoms appear earlier from cancers in the head of the pancreas, compared to those in the body and tail. Keep in mind that having any or all of these symptoms doesnât mean a person has pancreatic cancer. There are many other causes for these types of symptoms.
Bladder Cancer Risk And Causes
Although definite causes are unknown at this stage, certain factors are known to be associated with the risk of developing the disease. These include:
- Smoking smokers are three to four times more likely to get the disease than nonsmokers.
- Age the older you are the more susceptible you are to the disease
- Gender men are four times more likely to develop bladder cancer
- Exposure to chemicals especially in the textile, petrochemical and rubber industries
- Repeated chronic bladder infections particularly if inflammation from foreign objects is ever-present
- Treatments for other cancers including some chemotherapy and radiography treatments
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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.
What Are The Treatment Options For Muscle
Treatment options that may be considered include surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. The treatment advised for each case depends on various factors such as the stage of the cancer , and your general health.
You should have a full discussion with a specialist who knows your case. He or she will be able to give the pros and cons, the likely success rate, the possible side-effects and other details about the possible treatment options for your type of cancer.
You should also discuss with your specialist the aims of treatment. For example:
- Treatment may aim to cure the cancer. Some bladder muscle-invasive cancers can be cured, particularly if they are treated in the early stages of the disease.
- Treatment may aim to control the cancer. If a cure is not realistic, with treatment it is often possible to limit the growth or spread of the cancer so that it progresses less rapidly. This may keep you free of symptoms for some time.
- Treatment may aim to ease symptoms. If a cure is not possible, treatments may be used to reduce the size of a cancer, which may ease symptoms such as pain. If a cancer is advanced then you may require treatments such as painkillers or other treatments to help keep you free of pain or other symptoms.
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Symptoms Of Bladder Cancer
Bladder cancer may not cause any signs or symptoms in its early stages. Signs and symptoms often appear as the tumour gets bigger or grows deeper into the wall of the bladder. Other health conditions can cause the same symptoms as bladder cancer.
The most common sign of bladder cancer is blood in the urine . This may cause changes to the colour of the urine, such as turning it orange, pink or red. Sometimes the amount of blood in the urine is so small that you cant see it and it is only found during a urinalysis
Other signs and symptoms of bladder cancer may include:
- a need to urinate more often than usual
- an intense need to urinate
- burning or pain during urination
- difficulty urinating or having a weak stream of urine
- low back pain or pain in the pelvis
Diagnosis And Treatment Of Bladder Cancer
SANJEEV SHARMA, MD PANKAJ KSHEERSAGAR, MD and POONAM SHARMA, MD, Creighton University School of Medicine, Omaha, Nebraska
Am Fam Physician. 2009 Oct 1 80:717-723.
Patient information: See related handout on bladder cancer, written by the authors of this article.
This article exempifies the AAFP 2009 Annual Clinical Focus on management of chronic illness.
Bladder cancer is the sixth most prevalent malignancy in the United States. The most common type of bladder cancer is urothelial carcinoma, and cystoscopy remains the mainstay of diagnosis and surveillance. Fluorescence cystoscopy offers improvement in the detection of flat neoplastic lesions, such as carcinoma in situ. Non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer is typically managed with transurethral resection and perioperative intravesical chemotherapy. Intravesical bacille Calmette-Guérin therapy is preferred over mitomycin for those at high risk of disease progression. For muscle-invasive disease, standard management is radical cystectomy. In these patients, neoadjuvant chemotherapy or postoperative adjuvant chemotherapy should be considered based on pathologic risks, such as positive lymph nodes or pathologic T stage. Multidrug systemic chemotherapy involving cisplatin is commonly used. No major organization recommends screening for bladder cancer.
SORT: KEY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PRACTICE
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends against routine screening for bladder cancer in adults.
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Doctor’s Notes On Bladder Cancer
Bladder cancer is uncontrolled growth of any abnormal cells that make up bladder tissue. There are three main types of bladder cancer, urothelial or transitional cell carcinoma , squamous cell carcinoma, and adenocarcinoma. Unfortunately, the signs and symptoms of bladder cancers are nonspecific, but if you have any of the following signs or symptoms, one of the bladder cancer types could be a cause. The general signs and symptoms of bladder cancers include
- pain and/or burning with urination without evidence or signs of urinary tract infection,
- changing bladder habits ,
- difficulty starting a urine stream, and/or a
- weak urine stream.
The exact cause of bladder cancer is not known but there are several potential causes. The single greatest risk factor for bladder cancer is tobacco smoking. Other potential causes are the person’s genetics, chemical exposure at work . Other potential causes include diet , medications like pioglitazone or cyclophosphamide , pelvic radiation, and/or arsenic in the drinking water.
What Are the Treatments for Bladder Cancer?
Bladder cancer treatments may include one or more of the following:
- Bladder cancer surgery
- Intravesical therapy
- Radiation therapy
- Targeted therapy
The choice of treatments depends on a wide range of factors that include the cancer’s type, grade, stage, your overall health, and therapy preferences. Your doctors can help design a personal treatment plan.