Bladder cancer is one of the common cancers attacking people around the globe. Cancer of the bladder is often easy to recognise due to its specific
Bladder cancer is one of the common cancers attacking people around the globe. Cancer of the bladder is often easy to recognise due to its specific symptoms, what makes it different from other types of cancer such as lung cancer or breast cancer which may develop for years without giving any cancer signs.
As it is with other cancer types, bladder cancer treatment may take different forms depending on stages of cancer. It may include bladder surgery, chemotherapy treatment, and radiation therapy.
Regarding bladder cancer causes, doctors have estimated that smoking and exposure to certain industrial chemicals may increase the probability of bladder cancer occurrence. However, the main bladder cancer causes remain unknown.
Symptoms of Bladder Cancer
Patients with bladder cancer initially experience blood in their urine and problems with urination as the first bladder cancer signs. In the later bladder cancer stages, new symptoms of bladder cancer, such as pelvic pain, weight loss, and bone ache, become apparent. However, many patients contact their doctor right after first signs of bladder cancer, namely blood, appear and they can start a bladder cancer treatment.
Treatment of bladder cancer can be effective only in the early stages of cancer. For this reason, patients with late cancer stages may be eligible for palliative cancer treatment, focused on easing the pain and prolonging one’s life.
The preparation process varies depending on the type of bladder cancer treatment. As for bladder cancer surgery, you will need to stop taking blood-thinning medications such as aspirin, as well as inform your doctors about your medical issues and drugs you take for them.
Chemotherapy and radiation therapy do not require a thorough preparation process. It is advised to undergo other medical procedures before you start these types of bladder cancer treatment.
Bladder Cancer Treatment Options:
There are 4 main types of cancer treatment available for bladder cancer patients. These are:
• Bladder Cancer Surgery – in early stages of cancer it is possible to resect it. However, it depends on the case and type of cancer attacking one’s bladder.
• Chemotherapy for Bladder Cancer – in chemotherapy treatment, powerful doses of drugs are used to kill bladder cancer cells. It is given in several sessions throughout weeks or even months.
• Radiation Therapy for Bladder Cancer – radiotherapy means using radioactive material to destroy bladder cancer cells. It may take a form of external radiotherapy (radiation emitted by a machine) or internal radiation therapy (radioactive elements injected or swallowed).
• Immunotherapy with BCG Treatment – BCG is a bacteria that causes tuberculosis. However, a dose of BCG injected into the bladder may cause patient’s immune system to fight bladder cancer cells. However, not every bladder cancer treated with BCG will recede.
Recovery from treatment for bladder cancer may be a long process. Bladder cancer patients who underwent just a cancer surgery may fully recover within months, while chemotherapy recovery and radiation therapy recovery may take months or even years. In this period patients often experience bladder cancer treatment side effects.
Treatment of bladder cancer may lead to numerous complications which are worth thinking about. Bladder cancer surgery may lead to excessive bleeding, damage to internal organs, infection and other problems. In the same time, chemotherapy and radiation therapy complications, which are possible to occur, include damage to vital organs such as lungs, neurological damage and the appearance of secondary cancers.
Bladder cancer treatment side effects are connected especially to chemotherapy treatment and radiation therapy and may include:
• Memory and concentration issues
• Hair loss
• Weight loss
Bladder cancer prognosis varies depending on the stages of cancer of the bladder. For people with stage 0 bladder cancer, the 5-year prognosis is 98%, while patients undergoing stage 4 bladder cancer treatment have it at the level of 15%. In general, 5-year bladder cancer prognosis is around 77%, 10-year – 70% and 15-year – 65%.