HELP! I’ve Been Diagnosed with Bladder Cancer
If you have been diagnosed with bladder cancer, you may feel isolated and alone. However, you are not alone. According to the National Cancer Institute, the year 2008 brought about 123,200 new case of bladder and kidney cancer. It is the 4th most common type of cancer in men and the 8th in women.
The bladder is a hollow organ in the lower abdomen near the pelvis. The sole function of the bladder is to store liquid waste (urine) until it can be passed from the body. It acts in much the same way as a balloon does. It will stretch out when being filled and shrinks when emptied. The process of emptying the bladder has the urine travel down a small tube called the urethra before exiting the body.
3 Types of Bladder Cancer
Bladder cancer begins in the bladder and comes in three distinct types: transitional cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and adenocarcinoma.
• Transitional cell carcinoma lies in the innermost tissue of the bladder.
• Squamous cell carcinoma begins in the cells of a bladder after a prolonged infection or irritation.
• Adenocarcinoma begins in the cells after a long-term inflammation or irritation of the bladder has occurred.
What are the Treatment Options?
Treatment for bladder cancer is similar to other cancers. Surgery, radiation and chemotherapy are often the recommended treatments. There are also clinical trials being conducted that test new types of treatments and their effectiveness.
Many cancers of the bladder require surgical removal of the cancer cells. This may mean partial or full removal of the bladder. When an oncologist removes the entire