Bladder cancer is a fairly common disease among men. It refers to malignant tumors that can lead to death, especially if you do not diagnose and treat it in a timely manner.
The tumor begins to develop in the mucous membrane of the bladder, gradually affecting the surrounding tissues and organs – the urethra, the rectum, the prostate gland.
There are several types of tumors, the most frequent of which is carcinoma (transitional cell form). The prognosis of the disease depends on the stage of the process – the smaller the stage, the more favorable the prognosis.
The difficulty of early detection of the disease lies in the fact that in the early stages of the tumor very rarely manifests itself with clinical signs, developing completely asymptomatic.
With the localization of cancer in the bladder, the symptoms in many ways resemble the manifestations of cystitis. Inflammation of the bladder in some cases provokes the development of a tumor, known as squamous cell cancer.
The first signs of bladder cancer
The first signs of bladder cancer include hematurgy, dysuria, and several other symptoms that often suggest other illnesses. More on symptoms below.
Hematuria (blood in the urine)
So called the presence of blood in the urine. This symptom can be called specific, especially in the absence of pain.
The blood is fresh, not coagulated, most often of scarlet color. May manifest as droplets, streaks or clots. Bleeding can be massive (can be seen with the naked eyes) or microscopic (blood can be detected only with the help of special equipment).
Bleeding is often caused by injuries to the villi of a non-infiltrating neoplasm during bladder contraction. Hematuria is divided into terminal (episodic) – appears in moments of contraction of the bladder and total – incessant. The latter is most often a sign of a neglected, decaying stage 3-4 tumor.
The intensity of the process varies in the color of urine – from a barely visible pink color to bright red or saturated scarlet with the presence of bloody clots.
With the greatest intensity of tumor bleeding, the bladder is completely filled with clots, as a result of which urination is difficult or delayed.
Hematuria can be very rare and short-term, appearing every few months or even years.
So called any urinary disorders. This can be very frequent or, on the contrary, extremely rare urination.
If dysuria appears, then an infiltrative growth of education occurs, a tumor is formed in the bladder neck, the process of disintegration or ulceration, the addition of other diseases (for example, cystitis or prostate adenoma) takes place.
The most frequent manifestations of dysuria in bladder cancer are pain with frequent urination or difficulty.
With the development of prostate adenoma, acute urinary retention occurs. If the cancer is localized in the bladder neck, a feeling of an incompletely empty bladder is formed.
Dysuria begins to be more pronounced in the event that an infection joins (pyelonephritis, cystitis). The following factors contribute to its development:
- obstruction of urine flow (stagnation in the bladder) from the upper urinary tract and bladder;
- ulceration of the bladder wall;
- disintegration or infiltration of a neoplasm;
- decaying tissues and pus appear in the urine, the odor becomes fetid;
- if a tumor disintegrates, an alkaline reaction and the smell of ammonia appear in the urine;
- with tumor infiltration, urination becomes frequent and painful, especially at the end.
Symptoms of advanced bladder cancer
Bladder cancer on advanced stages have specific symptoms. With the progression of the tumor process, other signs of bladder cancer join.
Pain in the suprapubic area
With the progression of the process of development of infiltration develop pain, which are continuous. During urination, they usually increase, increasing by the end of the act due to the reduction of the detrusor.
When a tumor grows deeper – on neighboring organs and paravesicular fiber, pains radiate to the buttocks, perineum, sacrum, hips, and genitals.
Over time, the pain becomes unbearable and can not be removed even by strong narcotic drugs.
In the lumbar region, pain occurs due to the pressure of the tumor on the mouth of the ureter, the presence of pyelonephritis and hydronephrosis.
The development of secondary diseases and complications
- Chronic renal failure. Always evolving. It is characterized by itchy skin, general lethargy, dry mucous membranes and skin.
- Hydronephrotic transformation of the kidneys. Manifested by urine outflow.
- Rectus or suprapubic fistula. Formed during the germination of the tumor in the surrounding tissue with their subsequent decease.
- Violation of lymph drainage. In the presence of metastases in the lymph nodes (most often the inguinal and retroperitoneal) lymph flow from the legs is inhibited, swelling of the scrotum and lower extremities is formed.
General symptoms of bladder cancer
In addition to the signs characteristic of bladder cancer, there are a number of symptoms common to many types of diseases that manifest themselves with the development of tumors in the bladder. There are:
- chronic persistent fatigue;
- unmotivated general weakness;
- drastic weight loss in a short period of time without changes in lifestyle and diet;
- changes in the appearance of a person – the constant paleness of the skin and mucous membranes, suffering expression of the face, unpleasant specific body odor and clothing;
- sleep disorders;
- loss of appetite.
How to diagnose bladder cancer?
The main tasks are to determine the presence of the disease and the stage of the tumor process. Mandatory studies include urinalysis, cystoscopy, tissue biopsy, ultrasound of the bladder. In some cases, using computed tomography.
A very important measure for detecting a tumor in the initial asymptomatic stage is the annual completion of the clinical examination with a full examination.
Treatment options for bladder cancer
Depends on many factors, can be conservative and operational. Conservative methods include drug and radiation therapy. During surgery, part or whole of the bladder is removed. Most often, both methods are combined, conducting radiation therapy before or after surgery.
Chemotherapy (use of drugs) is rarely used as an independent referral. Usually goes in a complex of other activities, improving the cure. The best results are obtained by the combination of such anticancer drugs as adriablastin, methotrexate, cisplatin, vinblastin.
The first step is to remove provocative factors:
- time to cure inflammatory diseases of the bladder;
- get rid of smoking and other bad habits;
- exclude contact with those chemicals that cause the development of tumors: solvents, dyes, aniline, benzene.
Do not despair if you have bladder cancer. In most cases, it is a completely treatable disease, especially with the increased level of modern medicine.