Cancer from the lining cells of the bladder may spread to the muscles of the bladder, and from there, will then move to the to lymph nodes and other organs. This cancer may affect people of different ages, but it is more common among older adults. The condition is treatable if detected in the earlier stages; however, the chances of recurrence are also higher in this type of cancer. Frequent follow-ups are required to avoid and prevent the recurrence of cancer.
A number of risk factors are associated with the development of this cancer, including:
- Inflammation of bladder – Chronic urinary infections, inflammation of the bladder, and bladder stones may all increase the chances of developing bladder cancer.
- Benign bladder tumor – Benign tumors also raise the chances of developing this type of cancer.
- Smoking – Exposure to carcinogens is one of the major risk factors for developing this cancer. Smokers have an increased risk of developing bladder cancer, when compared to other people who do not smoke. Others who have an increased risk include painters, metal workers, textile workers, and rubber workers.
- Chemotherapy – Drugs used in chemotherapy also increase the risk of bladder cancer.
- Genetic disorders – People with genetic disorders, like Lynch syndrome, are at an increased risk of developing this cancer.
Bladder cancer is of three different types:
- Transitional cell carcinoma – Transitional cells line the inside of the urinary bladder. Cancer developing from the transitional cells, called transitional cell carcinoma, is one of the most common types of bladder cancer.
- Squamous cell carcinoma – Cancer of the squamous cells are often triggered by infections and irritation.
- Adenocarcinoma – Cancer of mucus gland cells in the urinary bladder, referred to as adenocarcinoma.
Some of the most common symptoms of bladder cancer include:
As cancer advances the symptoms may include:
- Lower back pain
- Swelling in the legs
- Growth in the pelvis near bladder
As cancer spreads to other organs, weight loss, pain in the rectal area, pelvic pain, and anemia are commonly seen.
Treatment of bladder cancer depends on the type and stage of cancer, and health of the person. Surgery is recommended for early-stage cancer. Chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and radiation therapy are other treatment options for this cancer.