Bladder Cancer – How to Find Out?
What is bladder cancer?
Bladder cancer ranks fourth in frequency – after cancer of prostate, lung cancer and colon cancer. In statistics, it takes about 5-10% of the total number of oncological diseases. More common among men and in the age between 60-65 years, although it is observed reduction of the age in recent years.
Cancer is a degeneration of normal cells in tumors that lose the ability to control their division. In this way, cells go out of control of the body occursuncontrolled reproduction. To unlock this process often it is necessary degeneration of only one cell that begins to divide uncontrollably and formation of cell 1 gradually increases and can affect adjacent organs or give distant metastases.
In 96% of cases, bladder cancer develops from the cells of the epithelium, covering the inside of the bladder wall, which is called medical transitional, and as developed from epithelial cells, called carcinomas, hence the name – transitional cell carcinoma. He is not the only type, but since this is the most common option in this section respectively will only consider it.
There are various degrees of malignancy of transitional cell carcinoma, depending on how much the cancer cell resembles a normal cell or differ from it. The closer are the tumor cells to normal, so recognition is more controlled and slow, respectively cancer is less malignant and with a better prognosis. In bladder cancer, the similarity (or degree of malignancy) was measured with the so-called grading (G). According to it, the tumors are divided into:
Well-differentiated (G1) – benign with good prognosis;
Moderately differentiated (G2) – with – poor prognosis;
Low differentiated (G3) – poor prognosis, aggressive tumors.
Another important feature, describing bladder cancer is the spread – ie how the tumor has expanded and is only affected bladder or other neighboring or distant organs. In the practice has been adopted the called TNM – classification that describes the stage of the disease:
TNM (Tumor Node Metastasis) – classification stage bladder cancer – 2002 .:
T1 – The tumor penetrates the sub epithelial connective tissue
T2 – The tumor penetrates into the muscle tissue of the bladder
T3 – The tumor penetrates about urinary bladder tissues
T4 – The tumor penetrates into one of the following structures:
prostate, uterus, vagina, pelvic, abdominal walls
The degree of malignancy (grading) and stage of the cancer (TNM), are the two main and most important features of which greatly depends on both the treatment and prognosis of the patient.
Bladder Cancer Risk Factors
As with most cancers and at bladder cancer main causes of the development is not known. Undoubtedly it has been proven that smoking is one of the risk factors and exposure to certain harmful chemicals in aniline industry – alpha-naphthalene, benzene, aminophenol; stone in the bladder.
Bladder Cancer Symptoms
In the early stages, bladder cancer causes no pain and no specific symptoms.
The main and often the only symptom is the separation of blood in the urine – a condition known as haematuria. In bladder cancer, the most common haematuria is painless and episodic, as occurs for 2-3 days and then disappears spontaneously. It may be visible (also called macroscopic) when urine is colored in different shades of red (from pink to dark red, and even black) or invisible (microscopic) when the color of the urine is normal, and the blood therein is established laboratory . Blood stained urine can either be in the form of black flakes – clots. When clots are larger they can block the bladder and cause obstruction by the impossibility of spontaneous urination.
Haematuria is so common symptom that when it appeared in an adult man, especially a smoker, the person should test himself for bladder cancer.
Haematuria leads to loss of blood and can cause anemia, which occurs with fatigue, tiredness, pale skin and mucous membranes.
When the process progresses, it can engage the opening of the urethra into the bladder, where clog the kidney. The condition is called hydronephrosis. It can lead to pain and burden in the lumbar region.