Bladder cancer, which forms in cells in the lining of the bladder, is the sixth most common type of cancer, affecting an estimated 55,000 people each year. This type of cancer is three times more common in men than in women, and afflicts Caucasians twice as often as African-Americans.
The three major types of bladder cancer are:
- Transitional cell carcinoma, the most common variety, starts in the lining of the bladder but can spread into the walls of the bladder and beyond.
- Squamous cell carcinoma, which is rarer and tends to be more aggressive, begins in the squamous cells, which may form in the bladder after a long-term infection or irritation
- Aden carcinomas, which account for only about 2 percent of bladder cancers, begin in glandular cells that can form in the bladder after long-term inflammation and irritation.
Bladder cancer may be further identified as superficial - confined to the lining of the bladder - or invasive, spreading to nearby organs and lymph nodes.
Bladder cancer is highly treatable when detected early. For this reason, it’s vital to know your risk factors as well as the common symptoms of bladder cancer.
Symptoms & Risk Factors
The most common symptom of bladder cancer is blood in the urine. Other symptoms include:
- Urgent need to urinate
- Frequent urination in small amounts
- Back or abdominal pain
- Painful urination
- Loss of appetite and weight
Risk factors include:
- Smoking - Smokers are two to three times more likely to get bladder cancer than non-smokers
- Chemical exposure - People who work in the rubber, chemical and leather industry show an increased risk, as do printers, painters, textile workers, truck drivers and hairdressers
- Chronic bladder infections
- A diet high in fried meats and fat.
- Being older, male, or white.
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