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Houston Urology Doctors

Bladd​​er Cancer

Kelsey-Seybold urologists have expertise in the diagnosis and management of bladder cancer.
 
Cancer of the bladder affects approximately 68,000 adults in the U.S. each year, making it one of the most common forms of cancers. It occurs in men more frequently than in women and typically affects older adults.
 
About 70% of bladder cancer cases are diagnosed early, when it is highly treatable.
 
Bladder cancer most often begins in the cells (urothelial cells) that line the inside of your bladder, but this same type of cancer can occur in other parts of the urinary tract system.

Typ​​es of Bladder Cancer

The cells in which bladder cancer develops determine the type of cancer and which treatments work best. Some bladder cancers develop in more than one type of cell, but this is rare.
 
Urothelial carcinoma is the most common type of bladder cancer in the U.S. It begins in the urothelial cells lining the inside of the bladder, which expand and contract with the fullness of the bladder.
 
Squamous cell carcinoma is associated with chronic irritation of the bladder. The irritation can occur due to an infection, long-term catheter use, or a parasite. Because of this, it’s less common in the U.S. and more common in other areas of the world where bladder infections are caused by certain parasites.
 
Adenocarcinoma begins in cells that make up mucus-secreting glands in the bladder. It is also rare in the U.S.

Sig​ns and Symptoms

Common signs of bladder cancer include:
  • Blood in urine (hematuria)
  • Painful urination
  • Pelvic pain
  • Back pain
  • Frequent urination
 
All of the above symptoms can also be signs of other, less serious, conditions such as a UTI or kidney infection. However, if you have blood in your urine or have a combination of more than one of these symptoms, you should see a doctor.

Cau​​ses

As with any cancer, bladder cancer develops when cells begin to grow abnormally into mutations. These cell mutations continue to grow and eventually form tumors. The cause of bladder cancer is not always evident in every case, but some risk factors include:
  • Smoking and other tobacco use
  • Exposure to chemicals, especially working in a job that requires exposure to chemicals
  • Past radiation exposure
  • Chronic irritation of the lining of the bladder
  • Parasitic infections, especially in people who are from or have traveled to certain areas outside the United States
 
If you suspect you may have bladder cancer, or if you are experiencing hematuria or any combination of the common signs of bladder cancer, schedule an appointment with the urology specialists at Kelsey-Seybold Clinic in Houston. 

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