Bladder cancer (cancer of the bladder)
The bladder is in the abdomen. It has the function of storing urine and excreting it when it dissolves. The bladder consists of two layers: the muscle layer and the mucous membrane lining the bladder inside. Bladder cancer is caused by the mucous membrane.
Bladder and adjacent organs
1 bladder 2. the two orifices of the ureters in the bladder 3. urethra 4. mucous membrane of the bladder 5. muscle layer of the bladder 6. sphincter of the bladder 7. mouth of the urethra in the pubic area
Bladder cancer risk factors
There is no clear cause for bladder cancer. However, some factors may increase the risk of developing bladder cancer. A very important risk factor is smoking. Other possible risk factors are:
frequent and prolonged contact with certain chemicals
- chronic cystitis (cystitis)
- high analgesic consumption
- Bilharzia (infection by certain parasites that also affect the bladder)
- previous chemotherapy or radiotherapy in the pelvic area
Bladder cancer symptoms
Bladder cancer often causes little discomfort. Blood in the urine can be a first sign. Even if this occurs only once, you should visit the doctor with reddish discolored urine. Other, but much rarer, symptoms are more frequent urinary urgency as well as difficulty or pain in water-solving.
Bladder cancer is often diagnosed by a bladder reflex: the doctor inserts an endoscope through the urethra into the bladder, examining the interior of the bladder. An ultrasound examination of the bladder and kidneys and a visualization of the urinary tract with contrast agent provide additional information.
Bladder cancer therapy
Bladder cancer is almost always treated with surgery or surgery. If the disease is confined to the mucosa, one can remove the affected tissue and maintain the bladder. If the cancer has spread further, the bladder must be removed. In this case, a new urinary diversion is created during the operation, for example, by a replacement bladder or by a urostoma.
Radiotherapy and chemotherapy are mainly used in advanced stages.