An Overview Of Bladder Cancer
Bladder cancer is the fourth most typical cancer in males in the United States. You'll find it occurs in females, even though it is more uncommon than in males. Although several factors are believed to elevate the possibility of developing bladder cancer, smoking is by far the biggest single risk factor. The signs of bladder cancer can include blood in the urine, painful urination, and increased regularity of urination.
Diagnosis and Preliminary Treatment
Most bladder cancers are diagnosed with the use of cystoscopy, a procedure where the urologist views the interior of the bladder using a fiberoptic scope. When a tumor has been discovered, it will generally be removed with a process called a Transurethral Resection of Bladder Tumor or TURBT.
Superficial or Invasive?
When a bladder cancer is removed, the urologist and pathologist determine whether the cancer is superficial (restricted to the lining of the bladder) or invasive (the cancer expands beneath the lining into the wall of the bladder). This is an essential distinction, because a superficial cancer cannot spread out past the bladder, while invasive bladder cancers can rapidly spread to other parts of the body. The good thing is, four out of five bladder cancers are superficial whenever first identified.
The Risk of Recurrence
Although a superficial bladder tumor presents no immediate risk of spread, it may, if it is not treated, become invasive. Complete elimination of a superficial bladder cancer correctly cures that specific tumor, but the bladder stays at risk for repeated tumors in other locations. Once the bladder lining has developed one superficial cancer, there exists a sixty percent to 80 percent risk that additional cancers will show up later on. Your own personal risk of recurrence is dependant on various things, including the tumor grade (speed of growth), number (single vs. multiple tumors) and size of the original cancer.
Monitoring for Recurrence
When a superficial (non-invasive) cancer has been taken out, the urologist will from time to time perform cystoscopy to check out the bladder for recurrences. Throughout the first two years after the removing of a tumor, the cystoscopies are generally performed every 3 months. If no recurrences can be found during those 2 years, the time interval is raised to 6 months for the following two years. If four years pass with no recurrences, many urologists recommend that the procedure be done annually thereafter.
Lessening the Likelihood Of Recurrence
There are steps that can be taken to cut back your chance of superficial bladder cancer recurrence. Included in this are medical treatments provided by your urologist, and nutritional supplements and lifestyle changes you'll be able to pursue yourself.
Potential Bladder Cancer Medical Treatments
The medical treatments used to counteract recurrence of superficial bladder cancer include medicines which are instilled into the bladder—a method known as intravesical therapy. These medicines include chemotherapy agents such as Mitomycin C and Thiotepa (medications that stop malignant cells from dividing), plus immunotherapy agents such as BCG and Interferon (used to stimulate the body’s immune system and motivate its natural defenses against cancer). Based on your risk of recurrence, your urologist may recommend one of these treatment methods.
Changes In Lifestyle
Cigarette smoking is the single largest risk factor for bladder cancer, and more than 50 percent of all bladder cancers are considered to be linked to tobacco use. Simply put, if you still smoke, you MUST quit. Research shows that after tobacco users stop, their bladder cancer chance is reduced in 2 to 4 years.
Work-related subjection to certain solvents or chemicals may also greatly increase the chance of bladder cancer. If you think this is an issue for you, talk about the issue with your doctor.
Our comprehension of the connection between nutrition and bladder cancer is continually growing. Current data supports a bigger ingestion of fruits and veggies and a decrease in animal fat. On top of that, a growing body of evidence implies that certain vitamins and nutritional supplements may perhaps considerably reduce the threat of superficial bladder cancer recurrence for people in the St. Louis metropolitan area.
During the early 1990s Donald Lamm, M.D., a major bladder cancer researcher, executed a prospective, randomized, double-blind clinical trial testing the efficiency of high-dose vitamin supplementation in the prevention of bladder cancer recurrence. The participants in the trial were women and men with superficial bladder cancer, who were randomized into one of two groups. The treatment group received BCG therapy and a daily multivitamin supplement, plus high doses of vitamins A, B6, C, E, and zinc. The control group was given BCG therapy and a daily multivitamin pill only. The results were very encouraging—the “high-dose” vitamin group had a cancer recurrence rate of just half that of the multivitamin group.
A more recent clinical trial, introduced at the 2008 American Urological Association meeting, established that including this same mixture of high-dose nutrients (this time with more vitamin D and folic acid) to BCG therapy was as reliable in shrinking bladder cancer recurrence as adding interferon to BCG therapy.
To get more information, contact Metropolitan Urological Specialists.
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