What is bladder cancer?
Bladder cancer occurs when there are abnormal, cancerous cells growing in the bladder. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), 70,980 cases of bladder cancer will be diagnosed in the US in 2009.
Bladder cancer affects men about three times more often than women, and it occurs in Caucasians twice as often as in African Americans. The risk of bladder cancer increases with age - over 70 percent of people who are diagnosed with it are older than 65.
The bladder is a triangle-shaped, hollow organ located in the lower abdomen. It is held in place by ligaments that are attached to other organs and the pelvic bones. The bladder's walls relax and expand to store urine, and contract and flatten to empty urine through the urethra. The typical healthy adult bladder can store up to two cups of urine for two to five hours
What causes bladder cancer?
While the exact causes of bladder cancer are not known, there are well-established risk factors for developing the disease. Risk factors for bladder cancer include the following:
Treatment for bladder cancer:
Specific treatment for bladder cancer will be determined by your physician based on:
Most individuals with bladder cancer have superficial and non-invasive tumors. Treatment for these tumors is often very effective with an excellent prognosis. The remainder of bladder cancers invade deep into the bladder wall and muscle. There is a greater risk for metastasis into other tissues in these cases. Depending on the extent, bladder cancers may be managed with a single therapy or combination of treatments.