About 77,000. That’s the number of Americans that will be diagnosed with bladder cancer this year. If you or someone you care about is diagnosed, the chances of recovery are boosted with early detection, so let’s take a closer look at bladder cancer — the sixth most common form of cancer.
The bladder is the hollow organ in your lower abdomen that receives and stores urine from the kidneys, which clean the waste from your blood. The bladder holds the waste fluid until it’s released through the urethra and passes out of the body.
The symptoms of bladder cancer can also be caused by other conditions. Symptoms can include:
If you have any of these symptoms, please see your health care professional. Having one or more of these symptoms does not mean you have bladder cancer.
A number of factors can contribute to developing bladder cancer. But just as with other cancers, just because you have some of the risks, that doesn’t mean you’ll get cancer. And even if you have no risk factors, you could still end up being diagnosed with the disease. Risks for bladder cancer include:
There are three types of bladder cancer:
If cancer is in the lining of the bladder, it’s called superficial. If it spreads through the bladder lining and into the muscle wall, or spreads to other organs, it’s called invasive bladder cancer.
If you have any of the signs we’ve described, your health care provider will ask for your medical history since it can provide insights into your risk factors. Your provider may use one or more tests to make a diagnosis, such as:
If a diagnosis of bladder cancer is made, the provider can review the best options for the situation. Treatments can include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy or biologic therapy, which boosts the body’s ability to fight the cancer.
As we mentioned, recovery changes are better with early detection, so see your health care professional if you have questions or concerns about bladder cancer.