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Bladder Cancer

What is bladder cancer?

Bladder cancer typically presents itself in the form of papillary tumors, tiny mushroom-like tumors with “stalks” attached to the bladder’s inner lining. Usually, more than one papillary tumor will develop at a time. Papillary tumors in the bladder are frequently malignant; these are known as “transitional cell carcinomas.” Other types of bladder cancers are possible, but account for 10% or less of all bladder cancers.

The American Cancer Society estimates 76,960 new cases of bladder cancer in the U.S. in 2016. Of those, approximately 77% will be in males (bladder cancer is the fourth most common cancer in men in the U.S.) and 23% will be in females. Diagnosis rates have been decreasing in recent years. While death rates have remained stable in men, they have decreased slightly in women.

What are the risk factors for bladder cancer?

Risk factors for bladder cancer include:

  • Age: This cancer is most common in adults between the ages of 50 and 70.
  • Being male: Bladder cancer is twice as common in men than women.
  • Being white: This cancer is more common in Caucasians than African-Americans.
  • Smoking: Smokers are four times more likely than non-smokers to develop bladder cancer.
  • Occupation: This cancer occurs more frequently in individuals who work in the following jobs/industries: rubber/leather industries, chemical worker, printer, metalworker, painter, hairdresser, machinist, truck driver and textile worker.
  • Bladder irritation: Individuals who have chronic irritation of the bladder due to urinary stones and parasitic infection are at a greater risk.
  • Previous cancer treatment: use of cyclophosphamide may increase risk of bladder cancer.
  • Diabetes medication: Use of some diabetes medications for more than one year increases risk.

Are there symptoms of bladder cancer?

Bladder cancer tends to produce signs and symptoms that prompt patients to see a physician for an evaluation. Symptoms include:

  • Blood in urine (approximately 70% of all patients)
  • Painful urination
  • Other urinary symptoms (burning, frequency or urgency, pelvic discomfort after urinating and – rarely – incontinence)
  • Pain in flank (this symptom only in locally advanced bladder cancer)
  • Back pain
  • Pelvic pain

How do you screen for and detect bladder cancer?

Testing for bladder cancer may begin with a physical exam and a review of the patient’s medical history. Urine lab tests are a natural next-stop for evaluating the bladder’s health. A cystoscopy allows the physician to examine the interior of the bladder. If an abnormal growth is detected, then further tests, such as ones listed below, may be useful. Select a diagnostic tool to learn more about it:

The Stages of Bladder Cancer

Staging bladder cancer helps your health care providers at Jordan Valley Cancer Center communicate about your disease and determine the best possible course of action. The following bladder cancer stages are used in our facility:

  • Stage I: Cancer is limited to the inner lining of the bladder and has not invaded the bladder’s muscular wall.
  • Stage II: Cancer has entered the bladder’s muscular wall, but is still localized in the bladder.
  • Stage III: Cancer has spread through the wall and into the surrounding tissue.
  • Stage IV: Cancer has metastasized throughout lymph nodes, bones or organs, such as the liver or lungs.

How do you treat bladder cancer?

The cancer specialists at Jordan Valley Cancer Care Center use a variety of treatment modalities for bladder cancer. Patients in West Jordan, Millcreek and Salt Lake City, UT seek treatment for bladder cancer at Jordan Valley because of our integrative approach to treatment. By uniting medical, surgical and radiation oncologists under one roof, our patients are able to receive input and treatment from a wide variety of oncologists, creating an opportunity to receive the best possible treatment. Select a procedure below to learn more about how it is used in treating bladder cancer:

The Patient Experience at Jordan Valley Cancer Center

Each patient at Jordan Valley Cancer Center is paired with a Nurse Navigator who serves as the patient’s educator and advocate. If you need more information or help in determining which treatment options to pursue, your Nurse Navigator can help you with the decision process. Our team at Jordan Valley Cancer Center is here to serve you. For more information about how we work, please contact us at 801-601-2260.