Veterinarian Reviewed on September 15, 2009 by Dr. Janice Huntingford
Bladder cancer is a type of cancer that occurs in your bladder.Most bladder cancers are transitional cell carcinomas. Bladder cancer begins most often in the cells that line the inside of the bladder.
Types of bladder cancer
more than 90% of cases originate in the transitional epithelial cells (called transitional cell carcinoma; TCC).
Carcinoma in situ (CIS) is a type of early bladder cancer which appears as a red, ulcerated area in the bladder.
Bladder cancer causes
Some of the possible causes or risk factors for bladder cancer are known. The following risk factors can increase the risk of developing it:
1. Cigarette smoking
This is the biggest risk factor for bladder cancer.
2. Exposure to chemicals at work
The other main cause of bladder cancer is exposure to certain chemicals at work.
3. Infection Repeated urinary infections and kidney or bladder stones (which can cause infections) have been linked with bladder cancer.
Untreated infection with a parasite called schistosoma (also called bilharzia) is a major cause of bladder cancer in people living in developing countries.
Bladder cancer symptoms
1. Blood in the urine (haematuria)
This is the most common
Bladder cancer symptoms. It usually happens suddenly and may come and go.
2. Bladder changes
Some people may have a burning feeling when they pass urine, or need to pass urine more often or urgently. These are all symptoms of bladder irritation and are more likely to be due to an infection rather than cancer. If these symptoms don’t get better with antibiotics, you might need more tests.
Bladder cancer Staging
The following stages are used to classify the location, size, and spread of the cancer, according to the TNM (tumor, lymph node, and metastasis) staging system :
Stage 0: Cancer cells are found only on the inner lining of the bladder.
Stage I: Cancer cells have proliferated to the layer beyond the inner lining of the urinary bladder but not to the muscles of the urinary bladder.
Stage II: Cancer cells have proliferated to the muscles in the bladder wall but not to the fatty tissue that surrounds the urinary bladder.
Stage III: Cancer cells have proliferated to the fatty tissue surrounding the urinary bladder and to the prostate gland, vagina, or uterus, but not to the lymph nodes or other organs.
Stage IV: Cancer cells have proliferated to the lymph nodes, pelvic or abdominal wall, and/or other organs.
Recurrent: Cancer has recurred in the urinary bladder or in another nearby organ after having been treated
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Janice Huntingford, DVM, has been in veterinary practice for over 30 years and has founded two veterinary clinics since receiving her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. She has studied extensively in both conventional and holistic modalities. Ask Dr. Jan