What is Bladder Cancer?

Bladder Cancer can take a long time to develop and can be very aggressive once the signs and symptoms appear. It is more common in men than women and is not often seen in people under the age of 40. The main causes of Bladder Cancer are chemical exposure (often in the work setting) and smoking. Bladder Cancer is diagnosed by a biopsy which is taken from the growth of cells during a cystoscopy. The diagnosis will determine the type of malignant tumour and the appropriate treatment which is necessary. Chemotherapy, radiotherapy or surgery may be required to treat Bladder Cancer. The consultant may feel there is a possibility in saving the bladder by removing all, or the majority of the tumour by means of surgical intervention. It is sometimes necessary to arrange an urgent operation to remove the bladder and to create a stoma (Urostomy) or a neobladder (bladder made from bowel tissue). This will be the case if it is thought that the cancer is too aggressive and may risk the tumour spreading to other parts of the body.

Managing Bladder Cancer

managing-bladder-cancerIf a bladder is removed and a neobladder is made, the individual will need to perform Intermittent Self Catheterisation (ISC) / Clean Intermittent Catheterisation (CIC) via the urethra.  Alternativelyit may be advised to have a continent urinary diversion (Mitrofanoff) as a way of emptying the bladder if the urethra needs removing as well. A Mitrofanoff requires the person to perform ISC/CIC approximately six times a day, on a daily basis. Every person who is diagnosed with cancer is different and therefore the treatment is determined on the type of tumour found and the best possible outcome available for that individual.