Monday, June 18, 2007

Urinary Bladder Cancer

Cancer of the urinary bladder is easy to detect when there is blood in the urine or hematuria. When a person is showing this kind of symptom, he or she should take this as a sign immediately go and consult a doctor for a medical checkup. Bladder cancer is the most common form of cancer in the urinary tract. It’s even more common than testicular cancer and kidney cancer combined. If cancer of the bladder is suspected, x-ray procedures coupled with cystoscopy examination is necessary to verify if there is indeed cancer.

If cancer of the bladder is discovered, the urologist must conduct a biopsy to determine the depth of penetration into the bladder wall of the tumor. The growth of the tumor into the muscle is the single most important indicator of prognosis especially because of superficial cancer of the bladder where the cancer is confined solely on the lining can be cured by simple ablation with a cystoscope or fulguration with electricity but the use of laser has made such treatments easier.

But if the tumor is invasive into the bladder wall, if it’s already a high-grade lesion or if its superficial cancer that cannot be treated with local measures, then there is no option but to operate. The problem with the decision to operate is that it involves the removal of the entire bladder called cystectomy so that the urine has nowhere else to go and because of this patients will constantly leak urine 24 hours a day unless diverted to a bag outside the body. No drugs or combination of drugs will work on advance cancer of the bladder as of today but in the future, doctors are hoping for a medical breakthrough that will cure patients with the disease.



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