Tuesday, May 1, 2012

What Is Bladder Cancer? Bladder Cancer Explained

What is the Bladder?

The organ that we have in the lower abdomen is called a "bladder". This is the organ where urine (made by the kidneys) is collected/stored for later excretion.
The collection of urine allows the bladder to expand like a balloon. When the bladder fills up and reaches its maximum capacity, the wall of the bladder contracts. This action is easily controlled by adults with regard to the timing, hence why infants (and in some cases, older people) can’t control when they urinate. When ready to let go, the urethra relaxes and the urine is excreted from the bladder. Then the urine slowly flows through a narrow tube and is excreted out; this procedure in total is called urination.
Bladder cancer is when the normal cells go through a lot of transformation, growing and multiplying without any control. When these cells multiply and form like a group it is called a tumour.
This tumour increases in size every time there is an addition of cells. The increase in size irritates the surrounding tissues as the cells take away oxygen and nutrients that the other tissues need to survive. The cells become hazardous or cancerous only when the invasion becomes excessive, killing off surrounding tissues and organs. Another risk is that these cells can even travel through the blood stream and invade other areas.

As for Bladder cancer, the inner lining of the Bladder is more susceptible to cancer. It is important to read about the 3 cells that can be infected by cancer.

Urothelial carcinoma (transitional cell carcinoma): These transitional cells are the most common cells that are found in the inner lining of the Bladder. These normal lining cells usually are prone to the problem of multiplying in large numbers which in turn leads to this space being invaded by bad cells and becoming cancerous.
Squamous cell carcinoma: These cells are formed when the bladder becomes inflamed and, as a result, flat cells emerge and slowly multiply in number over a period of time.
Adenocarcinoma: These cancers form from cells that make up glands. Glands are specialized structures that produce and release fluids such as mucus.
Usually the Bladder cancers are divided according to the level to which they penetrate into the several layers. That is the reason many physicians have named these cancers as invasive and superficial.
Superficial Bladder cancer: It is the cancer where the growth of the cells is restricted to only the innermost lining of the bladder.
Invasive Bladder Cancer: This is when the cancerous cells have at least penetrated the muscular layer of the Bladder wall.

Grade of the Bladder Cancer:

Not only is it important to understand the level but we should also know the grade of the bladder cancer in order to ascertain the treatment. The tumor grade is based on the degree of abnormality observed in a microscopic evaluation of the tumor.
A High grade cancer has a lot f changes when it comes to form and project a greater degree of abnormality when they are observed under a microscope.
Low grade tumours are less aggressive when compared to High grade and High grade are more susceptible in becoming invasive.
Of all the cancers Bladder cancer is popular for re-occurrence as research states that 50-80% of the cancer cells grows back and it is told that it would be the same type of cancer as in the first, however, it may be in the bladder or in any other part like the urinary tract.
Bladder cancer is most common in industrialized countries. It is the fifth most common type of cancer in the United States-the fourth most common in men and the ninth in women.
It is told that Bladder cancer has no age specifications i.e. it can occur to any gender of any age. However, research also says that it is most common in people older than 50 years of age. Study also states that the diagnosis age is recorded as 60years. Hence popularly people call it the disease for the aging as even people at 80 are diagnosed and treated for bladder cancer.
One last thing about of Bladder cancer is that it is also known as a disease for the rich attributing to its re-occurrence characteristic and due to which the ever prolonged treatment.
Recently, the drug Actos (Pioglitazone) has been linked to a severely increased risk of developing bladder cancer. Actos is a drug commonly prescribed to Diabetics for the treatment of Diabetes type 2. If you or anyone you know has taken Actos, speak to your doctor about the potential side effects immediately.