Professor MD Wolfgang Hoffmann
Bladder cancer is developing of abnormal cells in the bladder, an organ collecting and keeping urine before urination. It is located in a base of pelvis. Bladder cancer is fourth common cancer in men but in women it occurs four times less. The older age is one of risks factor for bladder cancer. More than 50% of all cancer cases are in patients older than 55.
The most common type of bladder cancer is transitional cell bladder cancer, it happens in 90% of cases. There are two main subtypes of transitional cancer:
Non invasive cancer is also called superficial when cancer dwells only in upper lining and do not grow inside if the muscular walls of the bladder. One more name for this type of cancer is papillary bladder cancer as the cancerous neoplasms grow as paps on the surface of the lining. They are normally removed and have good chance to never come back, excluding some types as carcinoma in situ and T1 tumors. The latest two are quickly grown cancers and tend to come back.
Invasive cancers are grown into the muscles layers and can even go beyond the bladder. This cancer type can spread to the other parts of the body. Tumors of invasive type have gradation from T2 to T4 depending on degree of infiltration.
Among the others rarer types of bladder cancer you can find:
The first symptom of bladder cancer is appearing of blood in urine. Thanks to this obvious sign bladder cancer is quite often early detected. But as this symptom can be also related to other diseases you need to see a doctor for diagnostics.
The other common signs and symptoms of bladder cancer are:
When bladder cancer is in advanced stage you may experience the following problems:
For early detection is normally recommended screening. Screening is doing test for presence of certain disease in absence of symptoms. It is recommended to those who have high risk of having suspected disease. With bladder cancer, those are at high risk who:
Screening includes the following tests:
If any abnormal cells are found during cytology, a doctor takes samples for biopsy.
TURBT is a surgical procedure for taking biopsy. Biopsy is pinching of small pieces of muscle tissue for testing. The procedure is used to find and identify malignant tumor and also for treatment of non invasive bladder tumors.
Among the other common options for cancer diagnostic are:
For early stage non invasive bladder cancer is used above mentioned TURBT. During this procedure a surgeon insert a cystoscope together with surgical tools onto the bladder and removes a tumor from bladder wall. Electric current may be involved to stop bleeding.
For advanced aggressive bladder cancer total cystectomy (bladder removal) can be considered. It is performed when the other treatments were failed and there is a risk of spreading metastases into the other parts of the body. Metastatic cancer cannot be cured and, though living without bladder is serious challenge, but it is lesser of two evils.
Survival rates for bladder cancer depend on type and stage. If to take overall prognosis according cancer.org it turns as following:
But if to split statistic to the group based on stage, it appears:
You can see that early diagnosis increases your chances for longer life significantly.