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Bladder Cancer

Definition

Cancer that forms in tissues of the bladder (the organ that stores urine). Most bladder cancers are transitional cell carcinomas (cancer that begins in cells that normally make up the inner lining of the bladder). Other types include squamous cell carcinoma (cancer that begins in thin, flat cells) and adenocarcinoma (cancer that begins in cells that make and release mucus and other fluids). The cells that form squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma develop in the inner lining of the bladder as a result of chronic irritation and inflammation.

Treatments*

Chemotherapy followed by radical cystectomy (removal of the bladder and nearby lymph nodes) is then the standard treatment. Partial cystectomy is rarely an option for stage III cancers. Chemotherapy (chemo) before surgery (with or without radiation) can shrink the tumor, which may make surgery easier.

Side Effects*

Bladder irritation or pain. Burning during urination. urgency to urinate. Frequent urination. Bladder infections. Blood or clots in urine.

Tips and Tricks

Because of high recurrence rates and the fact that it primarily affects older men, my bladder cancer journey has had unique challenges. Diagnosed at 47, I underwent three years of treatment and surgeries and am now in surveillance mode. Find a support group and use it. You will be much healthier and happier if you don’t have to go it alone!
Tanya – Survivor

The information contained in the Treatments and Side Effects sections are for informational purposes only. As with any cancer type, treatments and side effects can differ by patient. Please consult your oncologist for the specific treatments and side effects for your specific cancer.

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