Bladder cancer affects an estimated 68,000 men and women each year. The skilled team at Urology Group of Florida provides expert bladder cancer diagnosis and care to patients in Delray Beach, Florida and the surrounding communities.
Bladder Cancer Q & A
What is bladder cancer?
Bladder cancer is one of the most common cancers in the United States. It usually develops in the cells lining the inside of your bladder, but it can occur in other parts of the urinary tract as well.
There are several types of bladder cancer, including:
Urothelial carcinoma: occurs in the cells lining the inside of your bladder
Squamous cell carcinoma: typically due to chronic bladder irritation
Adenocarcinoma: develops in the mucus-secreting glands of the bladder; rare in the United States
Most cases of bladder cancer receive an early diagnosis, making it a highly treatable disease.
What are the symptoms of bladder cancer?
Symptoms of bladder cancer usually include:
Hematuria, or blood in your urine
Pain while urinating
Frequent urge to urinate
Discomfort in the pelvis or back
In the more advanced stages of bladder cancer, you may also experience fatigue and unexplained weight loss.
What causes bladder cancer?
The exact cause of bladder cancer isn’t known, but it occurs when your bladder cells grow abnormally. This change in cell growth is often due to tobacco use, exposure to chemicals or radiation, or continuous bladder irritation. Parasitic infections can also trigger cell changes in the bladder.
Who is at risk for bladder cancer?
Your chances of developing bladder cancer can increase due to several factors, especially being a white male over 40 years of age. Additional factors that increase your chances of bladder cancer include smoking, exposure to certain chemicals like arsenic, and undergoing previous cancer treatment.
Your risks of developing bladder cancer are also higher if you have a family history of bladder cancer or nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (Lynch syndrome).
How is bladder cancer diagnosed and treated?
During your appointment, your Advanced Urology of South Florida doctor may perform a variety of tests to reach a diagnosis, such as:
Urine sample analysis
Vaginal or rectal examination to feel for cancerous growths
Imaging tests, like CT scans or X-rays, to look for indications of abnormalities
Cystoscopy to look inside your bladder for signs of disease
Biopsies to test bladder tissue
Your doctor develops a treatment strategy based on your bladder cancer type and its stage. Bladder cancer therapies usually include removing the bladder or portions of it; chemotherapy, radiation, or immunotherapy; or clinical drug trials.
Urology Group of Florida also offers bladder instillation, a combination drug therapy delivered directly to the bladder to help you manage pain and symptoms like discomfort while urinating as well as urinary urgency and frequency.