Bladder cancer annually affects about 2000 people in Sweden, especially older men, and is the sixth most common cancer. Symptoms of bladder cancer is blood in the urine, the need to urinate more often than usual, it hurts when you pee and it hurts the pubic bone. In many affected tumor can be easily removed, but the patient must go on periodic inspections. In every third case, the tumor grows so deep that a more advanced treatment is required.
The number of new cases of bladder cancer is increasing steadily. Of those who fall ill is 75 percent women and the disease is most common in older people. There is a clear link between smoking and bladder cancer, but smoking is not the only cause. Studies have shown that certain chemicals in industry may increase the risk of disease in those exposed to them in their work environment.
Urinary tract mucosa is the same all the way from the renal pelvis, down through the ureters and into the bladder and urethra. Tumors can occur throughout the system, but it is most common with tumors of the urinary bladder. Next to the prostate cancer is bladder cancer the most common form of cancer of the urinary tract.
The most common and most important symptom of bladder cancer is blood in the urine. Other symptoms may be the need to urinate frequently, that it stings when urinating, or that it hurts the pubic bone. The symptoms are similar to those we have at a urinary tract infection.
You should always contact your GP or hospital if:
- you have blood in your urine – it is enough that you have seen blood in the urine once and for there to be reason to investigate the cause
- you need to urinate more often than usual
- it stings when you urinate and / or you have pain over the pubic bone.
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The bleeding from the urinary tract or if you otherwise suspect bladder cancer is a study, known as cystoscopy, in which the physician into an optical instrument through the urethra. The survey is supplemented with ultrasound and x-ray of the kidneys.
In more than half of the patients the tumor is no direct threat to health and can relatively easily be removed using cystoscopy, an instrument when introduced via the urethra. The procedure is performed in a hospital under general or epidural. Sometimes the patient may go home the same day, but normally you get to stay at least one day in hospital.
Since tumors often grow in depth is the prognosis good. However, they often recur, and therefore it is necessary with periodic inspections during the rest of their lives. The frequent recurrence is sometimes called a bladder wash with chemotherapy or TB vaccine, which activates the body’s own immune system locally in the bladder.
About a third of the tumors growing in depth into the bladder wall musculature or through the bladder wall. It increases the risk that the cancer will spread further to the lymph nodes and other organs. The tumors therefore requires much more advanced treatment. If the tumor is confined to the bladder and the patient is deemed capable of an operation is the entire bladder removed – to make a so-called cystectomy. In men the prostate gland is removed while in women, and sometimes the uterus and ovaries.
This is a procedure which has major implications for the surgery. Either the patient a new bladder constructed of bowel which allows one to urinate the usual way, or you get a colostomy – a bag on his stomach – put up with the catheter or discharged into a urinuppsamlande bandages placed on the abdomen. Virtually all men lose their erection ability after surgery.
If the tumor is very advanced and grow through or outside the bladder wall or when it has spread are given chemotherapy, either alone or in combination with surgery. Treatment may alleviate symptoms and prolong life for the patient but does not cure the disease except in exceptional cases. Radiation therapy does not occur so often, but sometimes used to relieve pain and reduce bleeding or when an operation can not be implemented.