The highly skilled urologists and oncologists at Marina del Rey Hospital are well-trained in the evaluation of patients with bladder cancer. Taking into account the type of cancer and its stage, a most suitable treatment approach is considered. Surgical removal of the bladder may be required to completely treat this condition. Your oncologist will be able to help you decide on the most appropriate treatment option.
Bladder cancer starts when your urinary bladder cells begin to divide without control. As more and more cells form, they can accumulate to develop into a tumor and slowly may spread to nearby structures and lymph nodes or to other parts of your body such as lungs, liver, and bones. The bladder wall is made up of several layers of different types of cells. Most commonly, bladder cancer starts in the innermost lining of the bladder called the transitional epithelium or urothelium. Once cancer spreads into or through the other layers of the bladder wall, it becomes advanced and can be difficult to treat.
At Marina del Rey Hospital, one of the following surgical procedures may be done to treat bladder cancer.
Few bladder cancer patients may require chemotherapy to get rid of cancer cells that persist even after surgery.
The different types of cancer that develop in the bladder are described below.
The major signs and symptoms of bladder cancer are bloody urine and painful urination. Other symptoms caused due to bladder cancer include:
In advanced stages of bladder cancer in which the tumor expands or spreads to distant parts of your body, the following symptoms may develop:
Most of these symptoms may also occur with other conditions apart from bladder cancer; therefore, it is necessary to undergo a complete evaluation of your problem.
If your doctor suspects bladder cancer, the following tests and procedures may be done to evaluate your condition and confirm the diagnosis:
There are several risk factors that may increase your chances of developing bladder cancer. Certain risk factors such as smoking can be changed, whereas a person’s age or family history cannot be changed.
Risk factors that can be changed
Risk factors that cannot be changed
The exact cause of bladder cancer is not known. But, changes in the DNA of normal cells of the bladder prompt the abnormal growth of these cells, which result in cancers.
Acquired gene mutations: The gene mutations linked to bladder cancer are acquired during one’s life rather than being inherited. Exposure to harmful chemicals and radiation can result in gene mutations. For instance, the chemicals present in tobacco smoke get absorbed into the bloodstream, filtered through the kidneys, and excreted in the urine that collects in your bladder, where its cells can get affected. Changes in certain genes such as the FGFR and RAS oncogenes and the TP53 or RB1 tumor suppressor genes are involved in the development of bladder cancers.
Inherited gene mutations: Bladder cancer usually does not run in families. Inherited gene changes are never a major cause of this cancer. A small number of people may inherit a lowered ability to detoxify and get rid of certain carcinogenic chemical substances. Such people are sensitive to the tobacco smoke and certain industrial chemical fumes.
Naturopathic medicine is an alternative treatment approach that consists of natural, safe and harmless therapies that treat a person as a whole, and also encourage self-healing processes. Some of the natural therapies that reduce the side effects of cancer treatments and boost your immune system include:
Herbal and botanical supplements: These include herbal teas and extracts such as ginger tea, ginger oil gel caps, candied ginger, or other botanical preparations that help prevent or relieve nausea. Extracts of green tea have the ability to cause hindrance to a process that facilitates the spread of early-stage cancer.
Dietary nutritional supplements: Diets rich in vitamins, minerals such as selenium, amino acids, and enzymes may be advised. Broccoli contains glucosinolates that can turn into isothiocyanates - the compounds that help fight bladder cancer. Phytochemicals such as flavonoids are helpful in both the prevention and treatment of bladder cancer. For example, silibinin is a flavonoid that occurs naturally, and can be isolated from milk thistle.
This type of treatment approach involves the use of very low amounts of plant extracts and minerals that are gentle enough in strengthening your body's healing ability as well as in boosting your immune response. Some of the homeopathic supplements are available both in the form of liquid as well as powder, in case you have difficulty in swallowing pills.
It is important to consult your doctor before taking natural supplements as vitamins, minerals, and herbs can have strong effects on your body. Some of these supplements can interact with your chemotherapy drugs and other cancer treatments, or else may be contraindicated for the type of cancer you have.
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese treatment approach that involves gentle pricking at certain points identified in our body as “trigger points”, using a fine needle. This treatment approach is used in patients with cancer to control symptoms such as pain, nausea and vomiting, fatigue, hot flashes, dry mouth, anxiety, depression, neuropathy, and disturbed sleep.
Chiropractic treatment includes hands-on spinal adjustment, stretching, massage, electronic stimulation of muscles, traction, and application of heat or ice. Chiropractic care can relieve symptoms associated with bladder cancer such as nausea, headache, and neuropathy.
Generally, the action that is taken to reduce your chances of getting cancer is called cancer prevention. By doing this, the emergence of newer cases of cancer can be lowered. Cancer leads to emotional distress in addition to the physical problems and is a group of interrelated diseases rather than a single disease. Several factors such as our lifestyle, genes, and the environment play an important role in both increasing and decreasing our risk of developing bladder cancer.
Here are some measures that could help prevent or reduce the risk of developing bladder cancer:
If you have any symptoms related to bladder cancer or if you need any information or guidance regarding bladder cancer, consult our urologists at Marina del Rey Hospital.