Treatment for Bladder Cancer

   April 3, 2009   

Treatment for bladder cancer Statistically, cancer of the urinary bladder appears to be most common in people between the ages of 50 and 70 years. This is a type of cancer that affects men more often than women. Studies show that it is more commonly experienced by Caucasians than African Americans.

Bladder cancer ranks fifth among the top ten cancers that affect males. It is considered one of the most common malignant cancers and the tenth leading cause of cancer death. It manifests as a tumor of the bladder.

The most common symptom of bladder cancer is visible, painless hematuria or blood in the urine. Treatment of bladder cancer depends on the grade of the tumor (the degree of cellular differentiation), the stage of tumor growth (the degree of local invasion and the presence or absence of metastasis), and the multicentricity (having many centers) of the tumor.

Diagnostic tests:

  • Uric acid test: Elevated levels of uric acid are found with renal disease, gout, leukemia, multiple     myeloma, Down’s syndrome, lymphoma, congestive heart failure, lead  poisoning, etc.
  • Cytological test for cancer: Screening test for cancerous and precancerous cells. It must be followed up by further testing if abnormalities are found, or none are found but client is symptomatic.
  • Intravenous pyelography: This 45-minute test detects tumors using a contrast radiographic dye.
  • Bladder ultrasonography: This 30- to 60-minute test diagnoses bladder or pelvic tumors, and bladder cancer.
  • CT scan, Renal: CT scans evaluate benign and malignant diseases of the bladder, prostate, testes, seminal vesicles, and spermatic cords.
  • Cystoscopy: Diagnoses neurogenic bladder, recurrent urinary infections, vesicoureteral     reflux,     fistulas between the bladder and adjacent organs and bladder diverticula.
  • Ureteroscopy: A procedure used to check the integrity of the ureter for papillomas.

Medical Treatment:

Radio therapy

Radiation of the neoplasmic tissue is done preoperatively to reduce spread of the neoplasm and viability of the cancer cells, thus decreasing the chances that the cancer may recur in the immediate area, or, of metastasis through the circulatory lymphatic systems.

Chemotherapy

An alkylating chemotherapeutic agent is instilled in the bladder. Precautionary measures are needed in handling urine after the procedure. It isconsidered biohazardous material and should be disposed of  properly. For 6 hours following chemotherapy, disinfect the toilet with household bleach after voiding.

Transurethral resection

The doctor inserts a cystoscope into the bladder via the urethra tube. The procedure entails the use of a long, but small wire to remove the cancerous tissue and to burn away or cauterize any remaining cancerous tissues with the aid of an electric current. This procedure is performed for tumors that were identified early and can be cured.

Radical cystectomy

Radical cystectomy is a medical surgical procedure that involves the complete removal of the organ involved that’s developed neoplasmic growths. The entire bladder, including the urethra and ureters, is removed.

Segmental cystectomy

The segmental cystectomy is a less radical procedure with only partial removal of the bladder. The cancerous areas are removed and the surrounding tissues, which are not affected, are maintained.

Laparoscopic surgery/robotic cystectomy

Laparoscopy is done with smaller incisions than traditional surgery, using a slender tube with a camera on the end (laparoscope), which may be robotically or hand controlled.

Treatment for Bladder Cancer
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