Bladder cancer happens when there is a tumor that grows within the bladder. Cancer can result from the active division of cells that multiply abnormally and quickly. Bladder cancer begins by affecting a part of the bladder. With time, it can spread and extensively affect the walls of the bladder and its surrounding tissues or organs.
Bladder cancer that has not yet spread to the adjacent organs is known as a "non-invasive bladder cancer." On the other hand, cancer that has spread to the rest of the adjacent organs is referred to as an "invasive bladder cancer."
There are a number of natural methods to help you deal with bladder cancer. These remedies are mainly in line with improving your diet and living a healthier lifestyle. Once cancer is detected, it is important that you adopt a suitable lifestyle that will help slow down the progress of the tumor.
Natural treatment methods may not cure cancer, but at least, they can help lower the risk of developing such disease. A holistic treatment can help people reduce the progress of their bladder cancer. Let’s have a look at some of the holistic remedies for the treatment of bladder cancer:
According to the A.P. John Institute for Cancer Research, grapes and oranges have been found to contain properties, which block some factors that encourage tumor growth. Limonene, a compound that is present in grapes, oranges, and other citrus fruits has anti-cancer properties. Consumption of the fruits' juices can also help in the same way as eating them.
Some vegetables have also been found to have elements that inhibit the progress of cancer. Spinach, for example, has vitamin E, which is said to reduce the chance of getting bladder cancer by a considerable percentage. Spinach also has lutein, which fights against cancer cells. Cabbages and cauliflowers have also been seen to have anti-cancer properties.
Other types of food that seem to have anti-cancer agents include:
- Ginkgo biloba - contains "quercetin," which is a flavonoid antioxidant found in vegetables. It helps in lowering the risk of developing bladder cancer.
- Tomatoes - are antioxidants. Tomatoes contain "lycopene," which does not only help in reducing the risks of getting bladder cancer but also prevents infections in the urinary tract based on the research done by the American Association for Cancer Research.
- Beans and carrots - According to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, when people eat beans and carrots regularly, they minimize their risks of having bladder cancer.
- Parsley - Monoterpenes, polyacetylenes, and flavonoids are some of the phytochemicals found in parsley, which have anti-cancer properties.
- Broccoli sprouts - have also shown properties that prevent cancer.
- Mistletoe - according to The Journal of Urology, when mistletoe is taken on a daily basis, it can help prevent bladder cancer.
What other treatment options are there for bladder cancer?
There are various types of medical treatments available for bladder cancer. Holistic treatments, on most occasions, help in reducing the spread of cancer or in reducing the risks of developing bladder cancer. Once a person is diagnosed, natural remedies will not help in the treatment of cancer.
You will require medical attention from healthcare experts, who specialize in treating your condition. It is important to immediately go see a doctor once you start experiencing the symptoms of bladder cancer. The reason is that cancer can be easily treated while it is still in its early stages. Once it spreads to the other parts of the body, the treatment becomes more complex and may take longer to deal with.
The symptoms of bladder cancer may include the following:
- having an urge to pass urine but nothing comes out when you try to urinate
- hematuria (presence of blood in the urine)
- experiencing an increase in urinary tract infections
- painful urination
- an increased frequency of urinating in small amounts
Aside from holistic treatments for bladder cancer, there are other treatment options for bladder cancer. They include:
This treatment option involves the administration of chemotherapy drugs that destroy cancer cells. These drugs work by attacking the cells that quickly divide, as that is how cancer cells multiply. There are two ways in which chemotherapy can be administered. They can be:
- Pills or injections - drugs can be given orally or injected into the vein, which is called as "systemic chemotherapy" since the drugs can travel all over the body.
- Drug administration directly into the bladder - can be done during the earliest stages of bladder cancer. It is also called as "intravesical chemotherapy."
With systemic chemotherapy, the chemo drugs get into the bloodstream and travel across the entire body. They will then destroy any abnormal-multiplying cells. This method is mostly used where cancer has spread beyond the bladder. It can also be used to reduce the size of large tumors before a surgical removal of the tumor is done. It is also effective when used together with radiotherapy. However, systemic chemotherapy has more adverse side effects as compared to intravesical chemotherapy. Examples of such side effects include:
- being fatigued
- feeling nauseated
- an increased risk of other infections
- loss of hair
- bleeding a lot even from minor cuts
Intravesical chemotherapy, on the other hand, involves the use of a catheter to pass the drugs into the bladder. Once that is done, the patient should not pass urine for at least an hour. This treatment method is preferred by most people because it does not have the same side effects experienced in a systemic chemotherapy.
This treatment has a few side effects such as inflammation of the bladder. However, this can be minimized by drinking a lot of fluids after the treatment. Patients who take diuretics should take them after the treatment.
This method uses radiation to kill cancer cells. Radiotherapy is used on patients whose health is poor. Together with chemotherapy, it can also be used to reduce the size of a tumor before it is surgically removed. The treatment is given daily with each treatment session lasting between 10 to 15 minutes.
Radiotherapy also destroys healthy body tissues or cells, which makes the treatment have side effects. Some of the side effects include:
- hair loss in the pubic region
- erectile dysfunction in men
- tightening of the vagina in women
- pain as you pass out urine
- increased frequency in passing urine
However, the side effects should stop once the treatment is over.
Surgery is usually done to remove the affected part of the bladder. The kind of surgery to be done will be dependent on the severity of cancer. Surgery can be done by removing a part of the bladder that has been affected by cancer or to remove the whole bladder and its surrounding organs such as the lymph nodes.
Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) Treatment
Finally, this method is used to treat an aggressive bladder cancer that is still non-invasive. The BCG drug is put into the bladder by using a catheter. It works by encouraging the body's immune system to destroy any cancer cells present.
The Bottom Line
It is important to always maintain a healthy lifestyle. As much as possible, try to minimize your risks of getting bladder cancer by using natural remedies. However, if you are diagnosed with bladder cancer, do not rely on natural treatment methods alone. It is still better to consult your doctor for proper guidance of possible treatments plans.