Bladder cancer in men occupies the fourth place, after prostate, lung and colon cancer and in women occupies the eighth place. Although it is much more present in men, women may have a worse prognosis, according to specialists .
In relation to age, two-thirds of the cases are diagnosed after 60 years, with rare cases in patients under 40 years.
Possible Causes of Bladder Cancer
Exposure to certain carcinogenic toxic substances, removal of the toxic substances by the kidney, and urine keeping close contact for several hours with the bladder mucosa make the bladder an excellent target organ for the development of a tumor.
Among the risk factors we find:
- Smoking is by far the most important risk factor, half of the tumors in men and just over a quarter of women are due directly to tobacco.
- Industrial dyes, especially hair dyes.
- Excessive intake of coffee and poor dietary habits, especially poor in vitamins, massive use of sweeteners and little fluid intake.
- Radiation therapy of the pelvic area by tumors.
- Infectious and chronic cystitis.
- Possible relationship with human papillomavirus.
Symptoms of Bladder Cancer
The most frequent symptom that immediately guides to a diagnosis of suspicion is the presence of blood in the urine, known as hematuria and present in most cases. It is usually a bleeding that is observed, gross hematuria, although sometimes only identified in the urine analysis, ie, microscopic hematuria. This presence of blood in the urine is common to develop throughout urination, sometimes even with clots.
Although almost always manifested without discomfort, it can sometimes present with symptoms similar to cystitis: stinging, pain in the urethra and under the belly, increased urination and urgency of urine.
Diagnosis of bladder cancer
The diagnosis is usually made with a bladder ultrasound, which allows the identification of the tumor within this bladder.. Other times, a cystoscopy is needed, which directly explores the bladder, identifies the tumor and other bladder lesions.
In cases with symptoms of cystitis, a urinary cytology is usually requested, which informs the diagnosis of suspicion, since most radiological examinations are inconclusive. Occasionally a CT scan and a Urogram are performed to complete the urinalysis and to know if the tumor has spread.
Treatment of bladder cancer
The initial treatment is complete removal of the tumor through the urethra, known as transurethral resection, with spinal or epidural anesthesia. This allows the anatomo-pathological analysis of the excised tissue, generally malignant, and to identify the degree of invasion of the bladder wall. Depending on the degree of invasion, tumors are classified as superficial and infiltrating, which is what ultimately determines the treatment to be followed.