Signs and symptoms of bladder cancer that you need to know about.
Bladder cancer is the fast and uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in your bladder. The bladder is a hollow, expandable organ in the lower part of your abdomen, and it stores urine until the time it is passed out of the body. This function of the bladder makes it an important part of the urinary tract.
The bladder is lined with a layer of cells known as the urothelium. The urothelium is separated from the muscles of the bladder wall, known as the muscularis propria, by a thin, fibrous band, which is called the lamina propria.
Bladder cancer usually begins when healthy cells in the bladder lining change and grow at an uncontrollable pace, forming a mass known as a tumor. This tumor can either be malignant or benign. A cancerous tumor is a malignant one, which means that it can grow and spread to other parts of your body. A tumor that is benign can grow, but it will not spread any further.
Bladder cancer is often described depending on the extent to which it has invaded the wall of the bladder. Non-invasive bladder cancers are those that are still in the inner layer of cells and have not spread into the deeper layers.
An invasive bladder cancer may spread to the lymph nodes and other organs in the pelvis, thereby causing problems with the functioning of the kidneys and bowel. It may also affect other organs in your body, such as the lungs and the liver. When the bladder cancer spreads to another part of the body, it is referred to as metastatic bladder cancer.
Although the exact cause of the disease is not known, people who smoke or use tobacco in some other form have an increased risk of getting bladder cancer. In addition, exposure to some chemicals and having chronic bladder problems can also increase the risk of bladder cancer.
This kind of cancer is more likely to develop in men than women. Also, the possibility of being diagnosed with the disease increases with age, as over 70 percent of people affected by bladder cancer are above 65 years old.
In some parts of the world, arsenic present in drinking water has been linked with a likelihood of getting bladder cancer. In addition, the risk of bladder cancer is lower in those who drink a significant amount of fluids on a daily basis. Drinking a lot of fluids leads to people emptying their bladders more often, thereby preventing chemicals from staying behind in their bodies.
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