Bladder cancer is the growth of cancer cells that start in the bladder. The bladder stores urine until you pass it from the body. There are three main types:
Transitional cell (urothelial) carcinoma
Squamous cell carcinoma
Cancer happens when cells in the body split without control or order. These cells go on to form a growth or tumor. These are harmful growths that can attack nearby tissues and make it hard for the bladder to work as it should. Cancer cells can also spread to other parts of the body.
It's not clear exactly what causes cancer to grow. It is likely a mix of genes and the environment.
The exam and your test results will help find out the stage of cancer you have. Staging guides your treatment. Bladder cancer is staged from 0 to 4. Stage 0 is cancer that has stayed in one area. Stage 4 is a cancer that has spread to other parts of the body.
Partial—Part of the bladder and nearby healthy tissue are removed.
Radical—The entire bladder and nearby lymph nodes are removed.
In men—The prostate may be taken out.
In women—The uterus, ovaries, part of the vagina, and the fallopian tubes may be taken out.
Radiation therapy is the use of radiation to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. It may be:
External—radiation is aimed at the bladder from a source outside the body
Internal—radioactive materials placed into bladder in or near the cancer cells
is the use of drugs to kill cancer cells. It may given by mouth, shots, or IV. The drugs enter the bloodstream and travel throughout the body.
For some, it can be given right into the bladder. This is called intravesical chemotherapy.
Biologic therapy uses the body’s immune system to fight cancer. Substances are made by the body or in a lab. They’re placed right into the bladder to boost, direct, or restore the body’s defenses. This type is used only for shallow, low grade cancer that was taken out.
To help lower your chances of bladder cancer:
If you smoke or use tobacco products, talk to your doctor about ways to quit.
Follow safe practices at work. If you are at high risk, talk to your manager about how to protect yourself.
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