Here's What You Need To Know About Bladder Cancer
Veteran Bollywood actor Vinod Khanna died today at the age of 70. He was reportedly suffering from advanced stage bladder cancer. Bladder cancer is a common type of cancer with more than 1 million cases per year in India.
Cancer is the growth of abnormal cells in the body. These extra cells grow together and form masses, called tumors. In bladder cancer, these growths happen in the bladder. The bladder is the part of your urinary tract that stores your urine until you are ready to let it out.
What are the symptoms?
- Blood in the urine is the main symptom of bladder cancer.
- Wanting to urinate often or feeling pain while urinating.
- Pain in the abdomen and lower back.
These symptoms can be caused by other problems too like a urinary tract infection hence it is essential to visit your doctor if you see blood in your urine.
Are you at risk?
The main risk factors for bladder cancer include:
- Smoking increases the risk of bladder cancer. Smoking causes half of all bladder cancers in men and women.
- Being older than 40 and being male increases the chances.
- Being exposed to cancer-causing chemicals, such as those used in the wood, rubber, and textile industries.
- A diet high in fried meats and fats has been found to increase the risk for bladder cancer.
- Having a family history of bladder cancer.
Can it be treated?
Bladder cancer can often be successfully treated if it is found and treated early. And most bladder cancer is found early. Treatment choices for bladder cancer include:
- Surgery to remove any cancer. Sometimes lasers or other methods can be used to get rid of tumors.
- Chemotherapy, which uses medicine to destroy cancer cells.
- Immunotherapy, which causes your body's natural defense system to attack bladder cancer cells.
- Radiation therapy, which uses high-dose X-rays to kill cancer cells.
Can bladder cancer be prevented?
Because doctors don't yet know what causes bladder cancer, it may not be preventable in all cases. However, certain factors can reduce your risk of getting bladder cancer -
- not smoking
- avoiding secondhand cigarette smoke
- avoiding other carcinogenic chemicals
- drinking plenty of water