The Urinary bladder is an organ located in the lower part of the abdomen. Its function is to store urine formed from both the kidneys and void it periodically. Like other organs of the body, it gets affected due to diseases such as infection and cancer. Since urine stays in the bladder for a long time so the molecules excreted in the urine tend to cause some cellular changes which can eventually lead to cancer. The urinary bladder is lined by unique cells called transitional epithelium. This epithelium is unique because unlike others this allows repeated stretching and contraction of the urinary bladder. The most common malignancy involving this epithelium is called transitional cell cancer. Various harmful chemicals present in tobacco and industrial solvents are known to cause this. Despite transitional cell cancer other less common cellular types also cause bladder cancer.
Signs and Symptoms associated with Bladder Cancer:
Most common symptom with which a patient meets his doctor is:
- Red colored urine (blood in urine) – This is called hematuria in medical language. Hematuria which is caused without any pain always creates a suspicion of cancer of the urinary tract. An astute physician will meticulously look for various other causes of hematuria along with cancer of kidneys, ureters, bladder, prostate, and urethra. If bleeding is heavy patient will pass blood clots in urine. The Large blood clot may cause difficulty in passing urine and may lead to urinary retention.
- Increase in urine – Other symptoms of bladder cancer are increased frequency of micturition. Frequency is associated with the intense urge to immediately pass the urine. This is caused when the bladder becomes irritable.
- Burning during urination – Some patients get burning sensation while passing urine, patients if not properly evaluated keep on taking treatment for urinary tract infection.
- Pain in the abdomen – A rapidly growing tumor may block the urine coming out of either kidney. This will cause pain in the flanks or side of the Abdo This is also associated with a significant weight loss
- Pain in the body – A tumor which is involving other organs of the body many causes, backache, cough, and breathlessness but these are generally symptoms of advanced malignancy.
One should consult a Urologist who is an expert in bladder cancer because early diagnosis and intervention can cure and if not at least halt the progression of the disease.