Dr. Priyank Salecha, Urologist, Apollo Spectra Hospital, Hyderabad
According to a study conducted by the National Institute of Health, nearly 45,000 men and 17,000 women are diagnosed with bladder cancer annually. Fortunately, most bladder cancers can be detected at an early stage which makes the condition highly treatable. Bladder cancer is also quite likely to recur after successful treatment, thus individuals who have recovered from the disease require ongoing monitoring and consultations. Bladder cancer is a common type of cancer that affects the urothelial cells lining inside the bladder. The bladder is a hollow muscular-shaped organ present in the lower abdomen that helps in storing urine.
Detecting Bladder Cancer
There are three different types of bladder cancer – Urothelial carcinoma, Squamous cell carcinoma, and Adenocarcinoma. Urothelial carcinoma or Transitional cell carcinoma is the most prevalent type to be detected among patients. As the name suggests, this cancer begins in the transitional cells of the inner layer of the bladder.
People who are suffering from bladder cancer may show several symptoms which can be misunderstood for other diseases as well. A few specific symptoms include fatigue, sudden weight loss, tenderness of bones, painful urination, frequent urge to urinate and pain in the abdominal area or lower back.
Prevention of the Bladder Cancer
The exact cause of bladder cancer is unknown. However, it is a result of the abnormal growth and multiplication of the cells at an uncontrollable rate which starts affecting other tissues in the process.
Adopting a few changes as follows can help in prevention and recurrence of bladder cancer –
● Avoid Smoking – Smoking aggravates bladder cancer as when one smokes, harmful chemicals end up in the urine, causing damage to the bladder lining and raising the risk of cancer.
● Always stay hydrated – Hydration is one of the most important steps that can help reduce the chances of getting bladder cancer. Drinking plenty of water in a day helps to flush the toxins out of the body and prevents causing damage to the bladder.
● Avoid harmful chemicals – Kidneys play a crucial role in filtering certain harmful chemicals from the bloodstream and moving them to the bladder. Hence being exposed to certain chemicals can increase the risk of bladder cancer. These chemicals include substances used for manufacturing of rubber, leather, dyes, textiles and pain products.
● Family History – If a family member suffers from bladder cancer it significantly increases the risk of others in the immediate family. It is best to adapt a healthy lifestyle and consult the doctors regularly to address any early systems in order to prevent bladder cancer in such cases
A healthy lifestyle and sleep routine is the key to preventing a number of diseases. Surgical procedures like Cystectomy can successfully treat bladder cancer if detected at an early stage. Anyone with family or personal history of bladder cancer should keep an eye on the early symptoms as that will help in devising an effective treatment plan.