Cancer that forms in tissues of the bladder is called bladder cancer. Most bladder cancers are transitional cell carcinomas (cancer that begins in cells that normally make up the inner lining of the bladder). Other types include squamous cell carcinoma, named for the thin, flat cells it begins in, and adenocarcinoma, which is a cancer that begins in cells that make and release mucus and other fluids. The cells that form squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma develop in the inner lining of the bladder as a result of chronic irritation and inflammation.
Estimated new cases and deaths from bladder cancer in the United States each year:
- New cases: 67,160
- Deaths: 13,750
As with most cancers, bladder cancer is more easily treatable and patients can survive it more readily if it is caught early. For patients diagnosed between 1988 and 2011 with Stage 0 and Stage 1 bladder cancer, their five-year survival rates were 98% and 88% respectively.
If you have any symptoms or discomfort with urination, don’t wait to see your primary care provider. If you don’t have a doctor, call Memorial Medical Center’s Physician Referral Hotline at 231-845-2372.
Common symptoms of bladder cancer include:
- Blood in the urine (making the urine slightly rusty to deep red)
- Pain during urination
- Frequent urination, or feeling the need to urinate without results
Treatment generally begins within a few weeks after the diagnosis. People with bladder cancer have many treatment options. They may have surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or biological therapy. Some patients get a combination of therapies.
(SOURCE: National Cancer Institute. www.cancer.gov)