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Bladder Cancer

The bladder is an organ situated in the lower abdomen and holds urine. Bladder cancer occurs when a cancerous tumor grows in the bladder and without treatment spreads to nearby organs. Symptoms of bladder cancer are sometimes similar to unrelated medical conditions and included blood within the urine, frequent urination, urgency, and painful urination. Since these symptoms are similar to other non-cancerous conditions, a medical evaluation of symptoms is vital. Other symptoms that occur with bladder are abdominal pain, weight loss, urinary incontinence, tenderness or pain in the bones, anemia, and fatigue. The doctor will perform a routine physical examination that includes examinations of the pelvis as well as the rectum. Diagnostic procedures to test for bladder cancer include bladder biopsy, urinalysis, urine cytology, CT scan of abdominal area, and cystoscopy (looking at the inside of the bladder using a precision camera).

Treatment options for vary by tumor stage, severity of symptoms and whether additional health conditions are present. For stage 0 to 1, treatment consists of tumor removal and Chemotherapy directed solely at the bladder. Stage II to III treatments are removal of the whole bladder, Chemotherapy to decrease the tumor’s size prior to surgery, and for those who cannot have surgery, a duel regimen of radiation and chemotherapy. Most patients with stage IV tumors are too advanced for be completely cured and surgery is not an option, so chemotherapy is the only treatment recommended.

There are several complications associated with bladder cancer including the spread of cancer to nearby organs, such as the liver, lungs, or bones. Other complications such as urinary incontinence, swelling of the ureter, anemia, and urethral stricture, which is a narrowing of the tube that carries from the bladder and out of the body, are often experience in patients with bladder cancer. To help prevent bladder cancer, avoid smoking cigarettes and eliminate environmental hazards. Long-term bladder infections and parasitic infections of the bladder may also lead to bladder cancer.

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