Bladder cancer affects nearly 75,000 people in the United States each year. In fact, it is the 5th most prevalent cancer, and it’s unfortunately on the rise. There are several risk factors associated with bladder cancer, although anyone can be affected by its devastating diagnosis.
Bladder Cancer Risk Factors
• History of smoking (smoking causes a 4-7 time increase in the risk)
• Processed foods
• Chemicals and Toxins (fertilizers, insect repellants, hair salon fumes, rubber, paints fungicides, etc.)
• 55 plus years of age
• Chronic UTI (Urinary Tract Infections)
• Prior kidney stones
• Bladder infections
• Certain diabetic medications
Bladder Cancer Symptoms
• Blood in urine (orange, pink or red)
• Frequent urination
• Changes in urine flow
• Urinating several times per night
• Painful urination
• Pain in kidney areas or lower back
• Swollen legs
• Painful pressure in pelvic and rectal region
• Sensations of urination with little to no elimination
If you have any of the symptoms listed above, it’s imperative that you see a urologist immediately. Bladder cancer can be particularly life-threatening if not caught in the early stages.
What is Bladder Cancer and How is it Treated?
Bladder cancer usually forms in the urothelium layer of the bladder. Upon diagnostic testing, tumors are discovered in the bladder. Most of these tumors are considered low-grade, which is, fortunately, easier to treat. The low-grade tumors take on the appearance of a small broccoli floret and are typically cut out and removed completely.
The specialist will use a cystoscopy, which is a flexible scope that is inserted into the bladder to check for any signs of cancer. If the tumors are in a low stage, non-papillary, and they haven’t grown through the bladder wall, they can usually be removed fairly easily.
CT scans and ultrasound technology are other viable imaging systems to show intricate detail of the bladder and the type of cancer that has invaded the patient’s urothelium or beyond.
Chemotherapy may be necessary to kill any residual roots or cancer cells that could not be removed during the procedure. Immunotherapy shows promising results in warding off recurring types of cancer. Individuals that have had bladder cancer have a 50% chance of recurrence. Therefore, it’s imperative that patients are monitored every three months for up to two years after their initial diagnosis and treatment.
There are certain things that people can do to prevent bladder cancer. The number one thing is to stop smoking now. Because smoking is one of the most hazardous risk factors for bladder cancer, along with several other diseases and cardiovascular disorders, it’s critical to stop smoking at once. The second thing is to protect yourself from chemicals and toxins. If you work in a factory or other business that has high levels of fumes, please wear protective gear at all times. Changing your diet to a more organic chemical free lifestyle is very helpful in warding off bladder cancer. It’s also important to drink plenty of water and to eat a diet rich in vegetables and fruits. Incorporating a nutrition plan like the Mediterranean diet is a good idea for many different health reasons.
Why Choose Florida Urology Specialists of Sarasota?
Florida Urology Specialists of Sarasota – A Division of 21st Century Oncology – is a fully integrated, breakthrough urological care facility. Their patients are able to visit their neighborhood physician and also obtain streamlined access to pathology, laboratory, radiation and imaging services. By having these services readily available. They can more effectively manage their patient’s health care as a whole, while ensuring they receive the highest standard of quality.
The board-certified physicians and clinical staff are experts in the latest advances in urological care and are leaders in bringing new technology and treatment options to our community. They treat all urologic diseases and conditions, including enlargement of the prostate causing lower urinary tract symptoms, prostate cancer screenings and treatments, urinary incontinence, changes in voiding habits, overactive bladder, painful urination, excessive nighttime urination disrupting sleep cycle, urinary tract infections, blood in the urine, elevated PSA, kidney and bladder stones, sexual dysfunction including impotence, vasectomy and cancers of the kidney, bladder, ureter, testicles and more.
To find out more about erectile dysfunction treatment, or to schedule your urology appointment today, please call (941) 309-7000.
Florida Urology Specialists
- 1 South School Ave, Ste. 200, Sarasota, FL 34237
- (941) 309-7000