Recent research has shown that while bladder cancer is three times more likely to affect men than women, the survival rate appears lower among women who develop bladder cancer. This type of cancer is usually diagnosed at an early stage when the cancer is treatable, but patients should typically go for follow-up screenings for years to come as the cancer can recur.
What is the main cause of bladder cancer?
Bladder cancer occurs when the healthy cells in the bladder lining change and grow to form a tumour. Such tumours can be either malignant, meaning that the tumour can grow and spread through the body, or benign, where the tumour can grow but won’t spread (although such bladder tumours are rare). The exact cause of bladder cancer has not yet been established, but certain risk factors include smoking, exposure to certain chemicals, and a family history of bladder cancer.
Symptoms typically include:
- Blood in the urine can result in bright red or brownish urine. Urine can also appear normal, while blood could be detected in the urine on a lab test.
- Frequent need to urinate
- Experiencing pain or a burning sensation when urinating
- Back pain
What are the types of bladder cancer?
- Urothelial carcinoma
This type of bladder cancer occurs within the cells on the bladder’s inside lining and is the most common type of bladder cancer. These urothelial cells expand when the bladder is full and contract once the bladder is empty.
- Squamous cell carcinoma
Most often associated with a chronic infection or irritation of the bladder, this type of bladder cancer is more rarely diagnosed.
Also a rare type of bladder cancer, adenocarcinoma originates from the cells found in mucus-secreting glands in the bladder.
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