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Bladder Cancer

Bladder cancer begins in the cells of the bladder, an organ responsible for storing urine before it is expelled from the body. The most common type is transitional cell carcinoma (urothelial carcinoma), which begins in the urothelial cells lining the inside of the bladder. However, there are other less common bladder cancers that can occur. 

Risk Factors

The exact causes is unclear, but there are risk factors that can increase the likelihood of developing the cancer, such as: smoking, exposure to certain chemicals in the workplace, old age, being male, and a history of chronic bladder inflammation. 



A symptom of bladder cancer is blood in the urine (hematuria), making the urine appear discolored, ranging from pink to deep red. Other symptoms may include pain during urination, frequent urination, urgency to urinate, and pelvic or back pain.



Diagnosis involves a combination of medical history review, physical examination, imaging tests (such as CT scans or MRIs), and a cystoscopy, where a thin tube with a camera is inserted into the bladder to examine the interior.



Treatment options depend on the stage and type of bladder cancer. Non-muscle invasive bladder cancer may be treated with surgery to remove tumors, immunotherapy, or localized treatments like laser therapy. Muscle-invasive bladder cancer may require more extensive treatments, including surgery to remove the bladder (radical cystectomy), chemotherapy, and sometimes radiation therapy.



There is no guaranteed way to prevent bladder cancer as there are some risk factors, such as age, sex, race, and family history, cannot be controlled. However, there are ways to minimize the likelihood of it happening, such as: avoiding or quitting smoking, staying hydrated, and minimizing exposure to certain industrial chemicals can help reduce the risk of bladder cancer. Regular medical check-ups and screenings may also aid in early detection and better treatment outcomes.

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