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Bladder cancer


Bladder cancer is rare before the age of 40. It is about four times more common in men than in women. One of its main causes is tobacco use, found in about one third of patients; certain other substances may also affect its appearance. The growth of bladder cancer leads to the deterioration of the lining of the bladder. There are two types of bladder cancer: superficial, limited to the mucosa of the bladder, and invasive, reaching deeper tissue layers of the bladder. The second is more severe and requires a more extensive treatment.


Symptoms of bladder cancer include:
  • the presence of blood in the urine or hematuria;
  • the urgent need to urinate;
  • difficulty urinating.


To diagnose bladder cancer, the doctor will examine the patient's history and lifestyle to determine, among other things, a link between the illness and possible exposure to chemicals. After clinical examination including - dipstick test, pelvic examination (rectal and vaginal) and abdominal palpation - a urinary cytology sample is used: it allows the doctor to study the cells present in the urine. An endoscopy, allowing direct visualization inside the bladder, is often useful. Ultrasound and urography may also be used.


With superficial tumors, endoscopic treatment can be performed, coupled with products that will prevent recurrence in the bladder. For invasive tumors, like with most cancers, surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy or a combination of the three will be used. The choice of treatment depends on the stage of the cancer and its location. Surgery on this type of cancer may be accompanied by a removal of the uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, and part of the vagina in women, and the ablation of the prostate in men.


Some reflexes can help prevent this type of cancer. With regards to people exposed to hazardous chemicals, a urinalysis is required every year, combined with a yearly checkup. It is also necessary to stop cigarette smoking, which is the most important risk factor for this type of cancer in women.

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