Like most cancers, we do not know all the causes of bladder cancer, but there are certain factors which increase the chances of getting bladder cancer.
Cigarette, “bidi”and tobacco chewing increases your risk of bladder cancer. In fact, more than half of all bladder cancer cases in India are caused by nicotine.
Bladder Cancer develops in smokers 2 to 3 times more than in non-smokers.
Long-term exposure to chemicals used to make plastics, paints, textiles, leather and rubber may also cause bladder cancer.
Chemicals may cause about 23 out of every 100 bladder cancer cases.
Symptoms of Bladder Cancer
Blood in the urine
- This is the most Common symptom of bladder cancer, and is generally painless.
- Not all Blood in urine means bladder cancer. Other commoner reasons are, urinary tract infection or kidney stones.
- Microscopic amounts of blood might even be normal in some people.
Frequent Urination and Pain on Urination (dysuria)
- Frequent or painful urination is less common.
If you have these symptoms, and do not have a urinary tract infection, you should talk to your Urologist to find out if bladder cancer is the cause.
The management of Bladder Tumor falls under the domain of Urology.
There is no single test to check for bladder cancer. If you have symptoms of bladder cancer, your doctor may perform 1 or more of the following -
- This forms the primary part of any consultation with a physician.
For this test you will have to give a urine sample.
- You may also be asked to perform urine cytology.
- The urologist may request an Ultrasound scan.
- A more detailed examination is normally done with a CT Urogram (CT scan focused on the urinary tract).
- For the examination of the inside of the bladder and also to take a biopsy if so required.
- In most cases you might be asked to take anaesthesia.
- If tumors are present, the doctor notes their appearance, number, location and size.
- If initial examination is done under local anesthesia or for only diagnostic purposes, you may be offered a formal Trans Urethral Resection of Bladder Tumor (TURBT).
- TURBT is done under regional / general anaesthesia and requires hospital stay.
Treatment procedures will be covered in subsequent posts.
Stop Nicotine Usage, to Prevent Bladder Cancer