Bladder Cancer Symptoms
Bladder cancer refers to the cancer of urinary bladder. Urinary bladder is a hollow organ in the lower abdomen (pelvis). It collects and stores urine produced by the kidneys. Bladder cancer is a disease where there is malignant growth in the cells of urinary bladder.
Here are few symptoms of bladder cancer:
- Hematuria: Blood or blood clots in the urine
- Dysuria: Pain during urination
- Increase in frequency of urination
- Urinating small amounts
- Frequent urinary tract infections (UTIs)
Symptoms that indicate more advanced bladder cancer are:
- Pain in the lower back around the kidneys
- Swelling in the lower legs
- A growth in the pelvis near the bladder (pelvic mass)
Other symptoms are weight loss, bone pain or pain in the rectal, anal, or pelvic area and anemia. These symptoms are also symptoms of other illnesses. Diagnosis at the right time may detect the bladder cancer.
How Bladder Cancer Symptoms Arise and Spread in the Body ?
- There are two types of cells which form the wall of the bladder. They are called squamous cells and transitional cells.
- In 90 percent and above cases of bladder cancers, the transitional cells are the targets and this is the reason why transitional cell carcinoma is the name given to this type of bladder cancer.
- In nearly 8 percent of cases of bladder cancer, the squamous cells get affected with the malignant cancer cells and hence the name squamous cell carcinomas.
- A type of cancer which affects only the lining of the bladder and reccur even after treatment, is called superficial bladder cancer. However, this type of bladder cancer remains static and does not progress quickly.
- When the tumor recurs, the disease is categorized as a separate type of superficial cancer in the bladder.
- When a superficial cancer grow from the lining of the bladder into the walls of the organ, it is called as invasive cancer. As the name suggests, this cancer can not only spread the malignant cells to the nearby organs like the vagina in women or the prostate gland in men but also to other parts of the body.
- If invasive cancer extends upto the lymph nodes, then it can be believed that the disease has spread to other organs likes bones, liver and lungs too.
- Technically, spread of malignant cancer cells from one organ to another is called Metastasis.
- When bladder cancer cells spread to the lungs, the organ gets affected because of malignant bladder cancer cells and is the patient is considered to be affected with bladder cancer.
- Once the bladder cancer symptoms are diagnosed in their initial stages, the disease can be treated successfully.
- This type of cancer does not grow very fast and can be treated without any surgery fortunately.
Smokers, people who get exposed to certain workplace chemicals, individuals with family history of bladder cancer, aged people, male and white people are at higher risks of getting affected with symptoms of this type of cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, there have been 70,900 new cases of this type of cancer in the United States in 2009, leading to the death of 14,338 individuals. It is the sixth most common cancer in this country. It is very rare in children to get this disease, however.