Bladder Cancer Urologist - Dr. Angelo Gousse, MD
Bladder cancer forms in more adults than you might think. The average annual bladder cancer diagnoses are 62,000 cases for men and roughly 19,000 cases for women. This data shows that men are about three times more likely to get bladder cancer than women.
Some of the risk factors associated with bladder cancer include smoking tobacco cigarettes and regularly exposing yourself to toxic chemicals. So if you can refrain from doing either of these two things, you are already in good shape. Of course, some people have jobs that require them to work around toxic chemicals. If you are in this position, take extra precautions to protect yourself.
Unfortunately, old age is an uncontrollable risk factor associated with bladder cancer. People who reach 60 years of age or older are more susceptible to developing bladder cancer. Reports show that roughly 80% of all bladder cancer cases include people within this age range. And again, the risk is three times higher for older men than older women.
What to Expect from Bladder Cancer
The inner lining of a person’s bladder contains particular cells called transitional cells. When someone develops bladder cancer, it occurs in these transitional cells. In some cases, bladder cancer could form in the urethra, ureters, kidneys, or other organs of the urinary tract system. That is why you need to seek treatment from a urologist when dealing with bladder cancer because it involves the urinary tract system.
It is always wise to visit a urologist regularly to get tested for cancer. But if you don’t get tested, there are specific symptoms you can watch for to determine whether you have cancer or not. The first symptom you may notice is blood in your urine when you urinate in the toilet. It shouldn’t be a painful symptom, but it will definitely be quite alarming to see when it occurs.
Don’t leave this symptom to chance. If you have blood in your urine, you should make an appointment to see a urologist at Gousse Urology immediately. Otherwise, if bladder cancer is causing the symptom, it will get progressively worse over time. But if you seek treatment early enough, you may have a chance of reducing the spread of cancer in your urinary tract system.
A urologist needs to perform certain tests to verify whether bladder cancer is in your urinary tract system. Since another health problem may be causing you to have blood in your urine, your urologist will first examine that possibility. But if they cannot find another reason for the blood, the last possibility is bladder cancer.
The first bladder cancer test is simple for the patient. All the urologist needs to do is examine your urine under a microscope to see if cancer cells are present in it. However, it may not stop there with the testing. Your urologist may also recommend a CT scan of your pelvis and abdomen as well. But if they need to get an up-close look at your bladder directly, the final test will be a cystoscopy.
Basically, a cystoscopy is a procedure where the urologist sends a small scope with a camera through your urethra and into your bladder. This displays the inside of your bladder on a computer monitor or screen for the doctor to see clearly. It is the best way for the urologist to see cancer growth if it is present.
Cystoscopy might sound like a painful procedure, but you won’t feel a thing after the doctor applies anesthetic jelly to your pelvis area. The entire procedure shouldn’t take more than 5 or 10 minutes.
There are five different stages of bladder cancer: CIS, Ta, T1, T2, T3, T4. If you are diagnosed with bladder cancer, the ideal stage to be at is CIS. It is the stage where the cancer is still growing without spreading past the inner lining in the bladder. But if your bladder cancer is in the T3 or T4 range, then it has grown past the muscle or bladder.
Your urologist will determine which treatment to administer based on the stage of your bladder cancer. The standard bladder cancer treatments are as follows:
Transurethral Resection of Bladder Tumor
The urologist inserts a device into your urethra that burns away the cancerous tumor in your bladder. Sometimes this procedure is used to diagnose bladder cancer too. It is minimally invasive but will require anesthetics to numb pain and discomfort.
The urologist inserts a catheter into the bladder to administer drugs through it. These drugs are formulated to improve your immune system strength to stop the spread of cancer cells in the bladder.
The urologist administers drugs through an IV inserted into your bladder. Chemotherapy is usually done to reduce the size of a cancerous tumor before or after surgery.
Cancer cells are eliminated with a powerful x-ray.
The urologist surgically removes part or all of the bladder and replaces it with a urination diversion.