Education & Diagnosis
Bladder cancer is the most common of the cancers associated with the urinary system of the human body. The bladder is the large organ located in the pelvic area that stores and discharges urine through the urinary tract. Bladder cancer usually originates in the bladder lining, in special cells called transitional cells. The most common symptom of bladder cancer is blood in the urine, also known as hematura. If your doctor cannot prove that another condition is causing the blood in your urine, he or she will perform tests to confirm or rule out bladder cancer.
Testing & Treatment
Testing for signs of bladder cancer commonly include a study of your urine to look for cancer cells, a CT scan of the abdomen and pelvis, and a cystoscopy to examine the bladder. Depending on its stage and grade, Treatment for bladder cancer include:
- TURBT (Transurethral Resection of Bladder Tumor) - A TURBT is a procedure in which bladder tumors can be removed from the bladder wall, using a scope inserted through the urethra. The scope is equipped with a special cutting instrument, and is inserted through the urethral channel into the bladder and then the tumor is removed.
- Intravesical BCG Therapy - BCG (Bacillus calmette-guerin) Therapy is a type of intravesical immunotherapy, and can be an appropriate way to treat early-stage bladder cancer. Intravesical therapy for bladder cancer consists of using medication put directly into the bladder through a catheter, instead of being injected into a vein or taken orally.
- Partial Cystectomy – removal of a portion of the bladder.
- Radical Cystectomy – removal of the entire bladder, after which your urologist will construct a new way for urine to exit your body, and you will have an internal or external bag that fills with urine.