The Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment of Bladder Cancer

Posted on: 22 May 2019

Like other cancers, those which affect the bladder can be serious, especially if the symptoms are not picked up in time, and the cancerous cells start to spread around the body. Bladder cancer may occur due to exposure to certain toxins, such as tobacco smoke, for example. Most people who are diagnosed with the condition in Australia are men, although a significant number of women will have it, too. Just under 3,000 new cases are recorded in the country each year. What do you need to look out for if you think you might be susceptible to it?

  • The Symptoms of Bladder Cancer

The most common way for cancer of the bladder to be first noticed is blood in your urine. If you see any, then it could be a range of conditions that is causing it, but you should see a doctor just in case. In addition, some people feel a good deal of discomfort when they urinate or perhaps have sudden urges to visit the toilet. These symptoms are not universal, however. More advanced stages of the disease may result in symptoms like swollen legs and pelvic pain. Sudden weight loss is another thing to look out for.

  • Diagnosing Cancer of the Bladder

A very common method for diagnosing this form of cancer is by a procedure known as cystoscopy. Essentially, this means a small camera is inserted into your bladder via the urethra. A local anaesthetic should be offered to you in order to avoid discomfort. In addition, imaging scans can be made of the area to get a fuller picture of any tumorous growth that may be occurring. A biopsy may also be taken in order to establish how old a tumour might be in order to work out what sort of bladder cancer treatment may be most appropriate in your case.

  • Bladder Cancer Treatment

Like kidney cancer treatment, a range of professionals will be involved in working out the best way forward. This may include a urologist and a pathologist as well as an oncologist – a cancer specialist. Radiotherapy is one of the ways that such cancers are treated, but surgical procedures may also be considered. There are pros and cons to both, depending on factors like your gender, your age and your level of general health so you should discuss all of the options with your doctor to make an informed decision before proceeding. Where chemotherapies are offered, these tend to be injected over the course of a few months. It is usual for the drugs to be injected into a patient's arm rather than close to the bladder itself.

For more information, contact a bladder cancer treatment centre near you.