Bladder Cancer – symptoms, causes and treatment

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What is a bladder?

The bladder is a hollow muscular organ that stores the waste (urine) from the kidney before excreting it from the body.

What is cancer?  

Cancer is a condition where the growth of abnormal cells is detected in the body. Cancer can spread from one part to another. All of the body parts are likely to be affected by cancer.

What is Bladder Cancer?

Bladder Cancer is a condition wherein cancer cells develop in the bladder. Bladder Cancer begins in the cells of the bladder. Most commonly cancer cells develop in the innermost lining (urothelial cells) or tissue of the bladder walls.

Cancer, in the first place, is life-threatening. Bladder Cancer is a serious concern because it can spread, damaging all the tissues and organs.

What are the types of Bladder Cancer?

The types of Bladder Cancer are classified by their developing place (location) in the body. The run down lists the common types of Bladder Cancer:

Squamous cell carcinoma

is a rare cancer characterised by irritation of the bladder. The cells develop as cancer cells in the bladder lining in response to prolonged infection, irritation or inflammation in the bladder. Untreated bladder stones in the bladder can also cause Bladder Cancer.

Urothelial carcinoma

also referred to as transitional cell carcinoma, is the common type of cancer. It is developed in the transitional cells that make up the inner lining (urothelial cells) or tissue of the bladder. Urothelial cells are responsible for the expansion of the bladder when it is full and for contraction when the bladder is empty. The urothelial cells are also found in the kidney and urethra (the tube that connects the kidney and bladder), so there is a high chance that cancer can develop in the kidney and urethra.


is a rare cancer that develops in the glandular cells that form the inner lining of the bladder. Cancer can also develop when the glandular cells are formed in response to prolonged bladder inflammation, infection or irritation.

What are the causes of Bladder Cancer?

However, it is quite hard to state the exact cause of Bladder Cancer. Bladder Cancer begins when the abnormal cells start their growth in an uncontrolled way. The abnormal cells start their growth in response to an induced factor that includes:

Smoking does not lead to lung and oral cancer. Some of the toxins of smoking are excreted through urine from the body. These toxins damage the bladder lining and trigger cancer development.

Hereditary, if cancer is running in the family, then it is a risk factor for the cause of developing Bladder Cancer.

Other bladder problems and urinary tract infections, bladder infection, inflammation and bladder stone can increase the risk of getting cancer.

What are the symptoms of Bladder Cancer?

Bladder Cancer symptoms can vary depending on the current health condition, the severity of cancer and the age of the affected person. The body leaves several symptoms to indicate the dysfunction, pay attention to the following symptoms:

  • Blood in urine
  • Pain while urination
  • Frequent urination
  • Weight loss
  • Bone pain
  • Pain in stomach and lower abdomen area

How is Bladder Cancer diagnosed?  

The assistance doctor is needed to diagnose cancer. The doctor will ask for the medical history. Then the symptoms and severity of the pain will be discussed.

A Physical examination is needed to check for the inflammation of the bladder.

Cystoscopy (soft and thin tube which has a camera and light) processes can examine the inside of the urethra and bladder. A cystoscope is sent through the urethra and processed further into the bladder to check for cancer cells and stones in the bladder and urethra.

A biopsy is a condition where the doctor inserts a small tool to collect a small part of tissue cells for analysis.

Urine analysis is where the urine sample is collected and tested for the presence of cancer cells. This process is called urine cytology.

Imagery tests such as CT scans, MRIs and x-ray give a clear picture of the urinary tract. Imagery tests help to diagnose and locate cancer in the body. With the help of a CT scan the Bladder Cancer size, shape, position and location can be diagnosed.

What is the treatment for Bladder Cancer?  

However, the treatment depends on age, current health condition, cancer stage and severity of other health complications. The treatment also depends upon the stage of cancer.

Treatment for stage 1 may include surgery to remove the tumor cells from the bladder.

Treatment for stages 2 and 3 may include chemotherapy along with the removal of the bladder(cystectomy), provided by surgery to create a new way to excrete the urine from the body. Chemotherapy (using anti-cancer medications to kill cancer cells) and radiation therapy (passing radiation rays to kill the cancer cells) can be done to treat Bladder Cancer cells.  In rare cases, chemotherapy or radiation therapy is performed along with the surgery to kill the remaining cancer cells, to prevent them from recurring.

Treatment for stage 4 may also include chemotherapy, performed to relieve the symptoms, radical cystectomy and the surrounding lymph nodes are removed to prevent cancer from spreading to other parts of the body.


Despite the type of cancer, its causes are always unclear. The only way left out is prevention, though it is not prevented in all cases. With the aid of symptoms, if the diagnosis of Bladder Cancer is possible in the early stage, then it is well and good. Cancer diagnosed in the early stage can be treated and easily prevents its spreading. To avoid the risk of developing cancer, quit smoking, keep yourself hydrated.


The Information including but not limited to text, graphics, images and other material contained on this blog are intended for education and awareness only. No material on this blog is intended to be a substitute for professional medical help including diagnosis or treatment. It is always advisable to consult medical professional before relying on the content. Neither the Author nor Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd accepts any responsibility for any potential risk to any visitor/reader.

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