What Is Bladder Cancer

Urinary bladder is a muscular pear shaped organ that helps store urine inside your body. The opening of the bladder is controlled by sphincter muscle and this helps in preventing constant flow of urine from your body. Bladder, like any other body organ can develop cancer and thus gets affected. Urinary bladder cancer might or might not show symptoms sometimes. Bladder cancer if detected early can be treated and the patient can resume a normal life. Bladder cancer can develop in both the sexes and there are wide variety of treatments available to treat this cancer.

BEFORE Bladder Cancer PROCEDURE

One of the most essential part that determines the success of any cancer treatment is the prescreening of the disease. This allows doctors to check the current status and the extent to which the cancerous cells have invaded the healthy tissue. Your doctor might use diagnostic test like PET scan etc. for the most accurate diagnosis. The diagnosis will help them plan the course of treatment and to choose the best option for your medical needs. It is essential for you to share your detailed medical history with the doctor along with any allergies that you might have suffered in the past due to any drugs. It is always advisable to talk to your doctor and to learn about the time required for the recovery, side effects and other related questions, this will help you to prepare yourself mentally for the treatment and also helps in speedy recovery.

How it is performed

Like every other form of cancer, bladder cancer can be treated using several technologies and methods. Your doctor takes the final decision about the option or the procedure that is best for you upon screening your diagnostic reports, general health condition, medical history etc. Some of the methods that can be used for treating bladder cancer are as follows.

Surgical Methods- One of the commonly used methods for removing the cancerous tumor from the bladder is TURBT (Transurethral bladder tumor resection), in this method doctor guides the movement of a catheter through urethra and after reaching the bladder, small surgical instruments are used to excise the tumor. This technique when coupled with chemotherapy and other radiation therapies gives the best result. Another type of surgical method is cystectomy, in cystectomy some portion or entire bladder is removed along with some lymph nodes and some other adjoining organs, in the case of men it could be prostate, urethra etc. and in case of women it is usually fallopian tubes, ovaries and uterus etc. This technique is also coupled with other assistive techniques to get the best results.

Chemotherapy- In chemotherapy specially designed drugs are introduced into the body of the patient either through intra-vesicle approach (drug is delivered into the target organ), or through systemic approach (it is delivered in the entire body). Chemotherapy drugs are specially engineered medicines who have the potential to discriminate between healthy and cancerous cells, thus these drugs help patients get rid of cancerous cells.

Immunotherapy- It is also called biologic therapy, it is designed to boost the body’s natural defenses to fight the cancer. It uses materials made either by the body or in a laboratory to improve, target, or restore immune system function. The specially engineered medicines help in boosting the power of immune system of the body and helps them in identifying cancerous tissue, the identified cells are then killed by the immune system or white blood cells of the body.

Radiation Therapy- Radiations carry energy in them, this energy when concentrated to a particular tissue helps in destroying that tissue because of heat. Various radiations carry various amounts of energy and thus only few are suitable for medical purposes. Various radiation techniques have been developed to target the affected area with pinpoint accuracy and these techniques also help patients recover from benign cancers (cancer that remains confined to a particular area) and are used post-surgery to ensure the success of the procedure.

Recovery

The time of recovery varies from person to person and also with the type of treatment being used to cure the illness. In surgical procedures, it is normal to stay in the hospital for few days and to wait for sutured area to heal. In surgical cases wherein the bladder has been removed, some surgeons might use portion of the intestine to reconstruct the bladder or might use it to construct a collection organ that can redirect urine to ostomy bag.In procedures involving radiation therapy it is normal to experience some side effects, you would be allowed to go home the same day in most of the cases though. You should always follow the advice of your doctor and should not miss on any follow up appointments. Taking regular exercise and correct diet plan as per the suggestion of your doctor really helps you heal fast and become healthy soon.

Potential Risks

The treatment of bladder cancer comes with usual side effects like feeling of nausea, vomiting, loss of body hair and tiredness etc. You should be cautious about removing the waste from ostomy bag. In some cases where some reproductive organs have been removed, individuals may become reproductively inactive and thus would not be able to become biological parents. There is always a chance for the reoccurrence of cancer, so you should visit your doctor regularly for proper screening and to maintain good health.

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