The cancer that begins inside the bladder is known as bladder cancer. A bladder is located in the center of the lower belly area and is responsible for holding and releasing urine. A large number of bladder cancers are transitional cell carcinomas. Adenocarcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas are considered as the other types of bladder cancer.
The development of bladder cancer is due to abnormal growth of cells in the bladder. These cells instead of dividing in an orderly way and develop mutations resulting them to grow out of control and not die. They then finally form a tumor.
Bladder cancer has been categorized into different types that include –
Carcinoma in Situ (CIS): Carcinoma in situ (CIS) is a type of non-invasive bladder cancer that grow very quickly. CIS looks like a red area in the bladder and if left untreated it can turn into invasive bladder cancer.
Papillary Bladder Cancer: This is considered as an early form of bladder cancer that looks similar to mushroom-like growths. A person can have both CIS and papillary cancer.
Transitional Cell Bladder Cancer (TCC): This is considered as the most common type of bladder cancer that begins in cells known as transitional cells in the lining of the bladder (urothelium). Urothelial carcinoma is the other name of this bladder cancer. This cancer is further categorized into two types –
Adenocarcinomas and squamous cell cancer are considered as the rarer types of bladder cancer. Both of them are invasive bladder cancer. Adenocarcinomas begin from the glandular cells while squamous cell begins from other type of cell in the lining of the bladder.
The causes of bladder cancer are unknown and usually it is connected with radiation, smoking, chemical exposure and a parasitic infection.
Stage 0: The presence of abnormal cells is there in the tissue lining within the bladder. These cells can become cancerous and may also spread close to normal tissue. This stage is further categorized into stage 0a and stage 0is that depends on the type of the tumor.
Stage 1: In this stage, the cancer has completely developed that has spread to the layer of connective tissue close to the bladder lining.
Stage 2: The second stage is marked by the spread of the cancer to the layers of muscle tissue of the bladder.
Stage 3: The third stage is marked by the spread of the cancer through the bladder to the layer of fat surrounding it. Also reproductive organs can get affected by this cancer such as vagina, prostate, uterus or seminal vesicles.
Stage 4: This stage is categorized into different conditions where one or more can be true –
The bladder cancer is diagnosed by performing cystourethroscopy (Cystoscopy) procedure for examining the lining of the bladder and urethra. The insertion of a small tube with a camera is done within the bladder through the urethra. A biopsy may also be performed if there is any presence of abnormal tissue.
A number of urine tests are also performed for those people who are suffering from bladder cancer symptoms. These tests include –
Imaging Tests: These tests may help in detecting any abnormalities or masses in the urethra, kidneys, ureters or bladder. These tests include –
A number of treatment options are available for bladder cancer that include –
Radiation Therapy : High-energy beams are used that are targeted at the cancer for destroying the cancer cells. This therapy makes use of a machine especially for the bladder cancer that moves around the body. This energy is then directed at the precise points with the help of this machine. This therapy can also be sued for destroying remaining cancer cells after surgery. It is also sometimes combined with chemotherapy.
Biological Therapy (Immunotherapy): This therapy works by signaling the immune system of the body to fight against cancer cells. This therapy is usually performed through the urethra and directly into the bladder. Certain drugs also used in biological therapy for treating bladder cancer.
Chemotherapy: This therapy involves the combination of two or more drugs for destroying cancer cells in the case of bladder cancer. These drugs can be directly given to the bladder by passing a tube through the urethra or can also be given through a vein in the arm. Chemotherapy is also sometimes combined with radiation therapy.
Surgery is recommended when the cancer is small and has not spread to the wall of the bladder. The two types of surgeries include –
Following are the types of surgeries that are recommended when the cancer has spread into the deep layers of the bladder cancer that include –