Bladder Cancer: Types, Stages, Diagnosis and Treatment

The responsibility of the bladder is to hold the urine before it leaves the body. Bladder cancer develops when the cells of the bladder start growing uncontrollably. Bladder cancer can be life-threatening but it can be treated with surgery, chemotherapy, immunotherapy or radiation, if detected early. The type and stage of bladder cancer determines the treatment process.

Bladder Cancer: Types, Stages, Diagnosis and Treatment

Types of bladder cancer:
Transitional cell cancer 
It spreads from the cells of the inner lining of the bladder called urothelium or transitional cells. This is the most common type and accounts for about 90% of bladder cancers - they can be categorized into non invasive and invasive cancers. 

Squamous cell carcinoma
This develops due to severe infections or long term bladder stones that convert the urothelium into squamous cells.

This rare form of cancer develops in the lining of the bladder and can be dangerous or life-threatening. 

 → Sarcoma
This type of cancer is also rare; it occurs in bladder muscles or other structural tissues.

 The stages of bladder cancer:
The stage of bladder cancer is decided based on the extent of the spread of the tumor. 
Stage 0: The cancerous cells have grown in the tissue lining of the bladder. 

Stage 1: The cancer has grown through the inner lining of the bladder to the connective tissue but has not yet reached the layer of muscle in the bladder wall or any lymph nodes.

Stage 2: The cancer has grown into the thick muscle wall of the bladder but it has not yet grown through the muscle wall to reach the fatty tissues surrounding the bladder. 

Stage 3: The cancer has spread to the fatty layer of tissue through muscle wall and it may have spread to reproductive organs such as prostate in males and vagina or uterus in a female.

Stage 4: Cancer has spread to the abdomen or pelvis but not to any lymph nodes or other organs. Or, cancer has grown into one or more lymph nodes but not to any organs.

The diagnosis of bladder cancer:
Correct diagnosis of bladder cancer is essential for treatment. Diagnosis helps in finding out the growth and location of the tumor. Cancer detection through full body preventive health checkups increases the chances of survival. The following tests are used to confirm the diagnosis.

  • Urine Test
  • Cystoscopy
  • Biopsy

Treatment options for bladder cancer:
Your physician will determine the treatment based on the type and stage of the cancer. If the bladder cancer is caught in its early stages, the treatment becomes easier. The treatment plan can include surgery, Intravesical therapy, Chemotherapy, and/or Radiation therapy.

Prevention is always better and cheaper than cure
Yes. That is why preventive health checkups are so important. They help in catching cancers and other critical illnesses early, when they are still curable. Early detection makes the treatment easier, saves out-of-pocket expenses, and also prevents the loss of life.

Book your full body checkup now to understand your current health status, and make changes in your lifestyle for a healthier, happier and longer life.

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