Bladder cancer

What is bladder cancer?

It is the cancer of tissues in bladder, an organ that holds urine. It occurs in both sex but most commonly in elderly men after age 60 years.

What are the symptoms of bladder cancer?

Visible painless presence of blood in urine with clots is most common presentation of bladder cancer. Besides this other causes may include burning and painful micturition, frequent urination, retention urine etc. More advanced cancer can present with weight loss, fatigue, backache, loss of appetite etc.

What are the risk factors of developing bladder cancer?

Tobacco smoking is most common factor associated with future development of bladder cancer. Persons working in industries which process paint, dye, metal and petroleum products are more prone. Chronic bladder infection, radiation therapy, bladder stone disease are other risk factors. Family and genetic history also pose a risk to its development.

How to diagnose bladder cancer?

Ultrasound Abdomen or CT scan is most frequently used for its diagnosis. Final diagnosis is made with biopsy after bladder tumor resection with endoscopy.

What are treatment of bladder cancer ?

Sometimes TURBT (biopsy for diagnosis) is sufficient for the treatment of bladder tumor in early stage. In more high risk cases, drug therapy into the bladder may be required at periodical intervals. In cases where tumor has spread into muscle layes, cystectomy (complete bladder removal) is required. In metastatic cases chemotherapy is used.    

Whom to consult for bladder cancer ?

Initial visit to Urologist is required for the management of bladder cancer. Further need of medical oncologist, radiotherapist is required if necessary.

Hematuria

•Hematuria is passing blood in urine.

•Can be Gross (visibly red urine) or microscopic hematuria (blood present in urine examination).

•Even single episode of hematuria warrants investigation as upto 50% patients with gross hematuria and 33% with microscopic hematuria show some underlying cause. 

•Various causes leading to hematuria include BPH (enlarged prostate), urinary tract infections, stone disease, cancer of urinary tract etc.

•Initial panel of tests required for evaluation of hematuria include urine examination and culture, Ultrasound/CT scan kUB, urine cytology, PSA (men>40 yrs), cystoscopy etc.  

  • Management is mainly disease specific, such as prostate surgery for BPH, antibiotics for UTI, stone management, endoscopic biopsy for bladder mass, prostate biopsy for suspicious prostate cancer.