What Is Bladder Cancer?
Bladder cancer is a common type of cancer that impacts the lives of tens of thousands of patients every year. It is more common among men than women and is often treatable when identified in the earlier stages. In the majority of these cases, cancer develops within the cells that make up the inner bladder lining, or urothelium, which can form a tumor within the organ. However, cancer may also occur within other areas of the bladder. Along with impacting normal urinary functions, bladder cancer may spread to other areas of the body, making early diagnosis and treatment critical in the management of care.
There are varying stages and subtypes of bladder cancer that can impact your health in several ways. If you have symptoms of or have been diagnosed with bladder cancer, it's important to consult with a urology specialist. Drs. Ahmad and Ali Kasraeian are board-certified urologists in Jacksonville, FL and are experienced in managing the stages and treatment of bladder cancer. Please contact Kasraeian Urology today to reserve your private in-person or telehealth consultation.
Bladder Cancer Signs and Symptoms
Any signs or symptoms of bladder cancer or urine-related abnormalities should be evaluated as soon as possible. While the early stages may not present with identifiable concerns, specific signs and symptoms of bladder cancer may begin to show as the condition progresses. These include:
- Frequent urination
- Blood in urine
- Dark color to urine
- An inability to urinate
- Pain upon urinating
- Swelling in the feet
- Lower back pain
- Needing to urinate frequently at night
- The feeling of having a full bladder
Most cases of bladder cancer are diagnosed in patients over the age of 55. While its precise cause is unknown, certain factors may increase the risk of bladder cancer. These include genetics, a family history of bladder cancer, smoking, long-term catheter use, and frequent bladder infections.
What Are the Causes of Bladder Cancer?
Bladder cancer happens when cells in the organ grow abnormally, leading to tumor development. It typically begins in the lining of the bladder. While no exact cause is known for this cancer, several risk factors may make it more likely, including:
- Smoking (the No. 1 risk factor for bladder cancer)
- Exposure to some industrial chemicals, such as those involved in dye manufacturing, rubber, textiles, leather, and paints
- Previous radiation therapy for cancers around the pelvis
- Chronic bladder inflammation
- Being male or over the age of 55
- Repeated urinary tract infections
What Is the Treatment Process?
When bladder cancer is diagnosed, urologists typically play a significant role in performing and managing cancer treatment. Drs. Kasraeian have specialized training in bladder health and, as highly trained surgeons, maintain advanced expertise in diagnosing and performing a range of bladder cancer treatments. If you have symptoms or other indications common to bladder cancer, our specialists will perform a series of tests to confirm a diagnosis, which may include blood work, urinalysis, or an advanced imaging-assisted biopsy. One of our urologists can then help you explore ideal bladder cancer treatment options based on the results of your tests and the extent of your condition.
At Kasraeian Urology, we're focused on taking the most minimally invasive approach possible to diagnostic testing and providing personalized, expert treatments to help you get the answers and care you need. Our team is passionate about patient health and will be with you every step of the way, from diagnosis to treatment and post-cancer care management.
Bladder Cancer FAQ
What are the types of bladder cancer?
The three primary types of bladder cancer are:
- Urothelial carcinoma
- Squamous cell carcinoma
Is bladder cancer easily treated?
When discovered early, bladder cancer is generally considered to be highly treatable. However, the more time that passes before an official diagnosis and treatment, the harder it will be to combat the cancerous cells within the bladder.
How does bladder cancer usually spread?
Bladder cancer typically starts in the lining of the bladder, then may spread to the rest of the bladder and the lymphatic system. If it metastasizes, it can spread to other organs of the body.
How often should I follow up with my doctor after bladder cancer treatment?
Regular follow-up care is crucial after bladder cancer treatment to monitor for any signs of recurrence or to manage any ongoing issues. The specific follow-up schedule can vary based on the stage of the cancer, the type of treatment you received, and your overall health. The team at Kasraeian Urology will create a personalized follow-up care plan, which may include physical exams, imaging tests, and urine tests at regular intervals.
Can lifestyle changes impact the prognosis of bladder cancer?
Yes, lifestyle changes can impact the prognosis of bladder cancer. Quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy diet, staying active, and avoiding exposure to certain chemicals may improve your overall health and potentially reduce the risk of cancer recurrence. We encourage our patients to adopt healthier lifestyles to support their treatment and recovery process.
Are there any new advances in bladder cancer research that patients should know about?
Bladder cancer research is continuously evolving, with advances in diagnostic techniques, surgical methods, and new treatments like immunotherapy and targeted therapy. These newer therapies aim to be more effective and less harmful to normal cells than traditional chemotherapy. Patients at Kasraeian Urology can discuss the latest research findings with Drs. Ahmad and Ali Kasraeian to understand how emerging treatments might apply to their specific condition and if they are eligible for any clinical trials.
Specialized Care for Bladder Health
Finding specialized care for bladder cancer or related conditions is essential to your health, comfort, and wellness. Drs. Kasraeian are known for their exemplary, meticulous approach to bladder cancer diagnostics and treatment and will work with you to identify the best possible solution for your needs. Contact Kasraeian Urology in Jacksonville or Jacksonville Beach, FL to schedule a consultation or to learn about the insurances we accept, treatment pricing, and more from our knowledgeable team.
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