What is bladder cancer?
Bladder cancer typically develops in the cells that line your bladder, known as urothelial cells. Although bladder cancer usually starts in the bladder, it’s capable of spreading and damaging other parts of your urinary tract as well.
Estimates suggest that 7 out of 10 bladder cancer diagnoses occur in the early stages of the disease. That said, bladder cancer tends to recur so regular preventive screenings are necessary.
Are there different types of bladder cancer?
There are three different types of cells that make up your bladder. Bladder cancer is any type of cancer that affects one or more of these types of cells.
Urothelial carcinoma is the most common type of bladder cancer and affects the cells that contract when your bladder is full. Urothelial carcinoma causes tumors to form in the bladder and urethra.
Squamous cell carcinoma
Squamous cell carcinoma is incredibly rare in the United States and occurs due to chronic bladder irritation. A certain type of parasitic infection is directly responsible for this type of bladder cancer.
Adenocarcinoma is a type of cancer that develops in the mucus-producing glands of your bladder. Like squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma is rare in the United States.
What are the symptoms of bladder cancer?
Common symptoms associated with bladder cancer include:
- Pelvic pain
- Painful urination
- Blood in your urine
Some people with bladder cancer also experience lower back pain and an urge to frequently urinate. However, these symptoms may occur due to other, less serious health problems including sciatica and urinary incontinence.
How can I lower my risk of bladder cancer?
Anyone can develop bladder cancer, but living a healthy, well-balanced lifestyle can significantly lower your risk.
The team at Skyline Urology recommends quitting the use of all tobacco products, following best safety practices around chemicals, and eating a nutritious diet rich in fruits and vegetables.