Bladder Cancer Basics

Hematuria, i.e. blood in the urine could be a sign that a tumor may be growing in the bladder.  Think, painless blood in the urine.  Which would be different that a flank pain, i.e. a possible kidney stone, with blood in the urine.  Or, a UTI with blood in the urine.

The bladder is what collects your urine until it’s time to void.

“The most common type of bladder cancer is transitional cell carcinoma, which begins in urothelial cells that line the inside of the bladder. Urothelial cells are transitional cells, which are able to change shape and stretch when the bladder is full. This type of cancer is also called urothelial carcinoma. Other types of bladder cancer include squamous cell carcinoma (cancer that begins in thin, flat cells lining the bladder) and adenocarcinoma (cancer that begins in cells that make and release mucus and other fluids).

People who smoke have an increased risk of bladder cancer. Being exposed to certain chemicals and having chronic bladder infections can also increase the risk of bladder cancer.”  Think bladder irritants can increase the risk of cancer.

If caught early, the treatment is fairly simple, such as a minimally invasive surgery with biologic therapy afterwards.  However, if ignored, like most cancers, it will become bigger and the therapy is tougher.  This leads to a bigger, invasive surgery, or chemotherapy/radiation therapy.

Don’t ignore bleeding when you take a leak!!!


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