Cancer Overview of Cancer Cancer is the out-of-control growth of cells in your body. Cells are the tiny building blocks of your body. Cells specialize in what they do. For example, your intestines have muscle cells to... read more is the out-of-control growth of cells in your body. Cells are the tiny building blocks of your body. Cells specialize in what they do. Different organs are made of different kinds of cells. Almost any kind of cell can become cancerous.
What is bladder cancer?
Your bladder is a hollow balloon-like organ that holds urine until you urinate (pee). Bladder cancer is the out-of-control growth of cells in your bladder.
Smoking raises your chances of getting bladder cancer
About 3 times as many men as women get bladder cancer
The first symptom of bladder cancer is usually blood in your urine
Bladder cancer is usually treated with surgery
The Urinary Tract
What causes bladder cancer?
Risk of bladder cancer is increased by:
Smoking—this causes about half of new bladder cancer cases
Exposure to certain industrial chemicals
Long-term use of certain medicines
Schistosomiasis Schistosomiasis Schistosomiasis is infection caused by certain flatworms (flukes), called schistosomes. People acquire schistosomiasis by swimming or bathing in fresh water that is contaminated with the flukes... read more also increases the risk of bladder cancer. In schistosomiasis, a disease that occurs in tropical climates, a certain parasite can infect the bladder.
What are the symptoms of bladder cancer?
The most common symptom is:
Blood in your urine
Other symptoms include:
Pain and burning while you pee
The need to pee right away and often
Symptoms of bladder cancer may be the same as symptoms of a bladder infection Bladder Infection Your bladder is the hollow organ that holds urine until you're ready to urinate (pee). A bladder infection is usually caused by bacteria. Bladder infections are also called cystitis. Bladder... read more . Bladder infections are much more common than bladder cancer, but it's possible to have both.
How do doctors tell if I have bladder cancer?
Doctors may suspect bladder cancer if:
You have blood in your urine but don't have a urinary tract infection (UTI)
You keep getting treated for a bladder infection but your symptoms don't go away
To know for sure if you have bladder cancer, doctors will do:
In cystoscopy, doctors look inside your bladder with a small viewing tube. They put the tube in through the hole where your urine comes out (your urethra). You'll get medicine so it doesn't hurt. If they see something that might be cancer, they do a biopsy. In a biopsy, they take a sample of tissue to test in the laboratory.
If you have bladder cancer, doctors may do other tests, such as CT scan Computed Tomography A CT scan uses a large machine shaped like a large donut to take x-rays from many angles. A computer then takes the x-rays and creates many detailed pictures of the inside of your body. Each... read more and chest x-ray X-Rays An x-ray is an imaging test that takes a picture of the inside of your body. It uses a low dose of x-ray radiation. X-rays show body parts according to how dense (solid) they are. Doctors usually... read more , to see if the cancer has spread.
How can doctors treat bladder cancer?
If your cancer is only on the inner surface of the bladder, doctors will:
Remove the cancer during cytoscopy
Put medicine into the bladder after the cancer is gone
Cancer may regrow after it's removed.
If your cancer can't be removed by cytoscopy, doctors will:
Take out part or all of your bladder
If doctors take out your bladder, they'll create a new way for urine to leave your body. They may put in an artificial bladder or make an opening in your belly for urine to drain into a bag.