Urinary bladder is an organ present in the urinary tract to store urine. It can store almost 600 ml of urine. When there is a need to urinate, muscular layer of urinary bladder contracts and thus urine is expelled out from the body through urethra. When due to any problem cells of epithelium of bladder go through a mutation, a conformational change occurs in the genes of the cells and thus the start to divide at an exponential rate and their normal control for mitosis is lost. These abnormal cells which are dividing without any body need or control are known as tumors. This condition is called bladder cancer. These cancerous cells do not behave as normal cells and consume the nutrition of normal cells and thus grow very rapidly while disturbing the function of other cells.
These tumors are of two types. One is benign tumor which are localised to the outer layer of urinary bladder only and do not spread to the other organs of the body. The other is malignant tumors which have the capacity to spread to the whole urinary bladder and to the other parts of the body also, this property of spreading to the other part of the body is known as metastasis. Malignant tumors are also called as cancers.
Risk factors of bladder cancer
There are some factors which can increase the chances of prevalence of bladder cancer which are discussed here.
- People who are less than 40 years age are at less risk of cancer as compared to the people who are above 40 years.
- People who had congenital bladder defect are at greater risk of urinary bladder cancer.
- Patients who are already having radiotherapy for the treatment of any other cancer (especially woman with cervical cancer) are at greater risk of urinary bladder cancer.
- Patients receiving chemotherapy for the treatment of any other cancer are at greater risk of urinary bladder cancer.
- Patients with chronic inflammation of the urinary bladder are at greater risk of developing bladder cancer.
- People who are exposed to certain chemicals which include different factory workers are at greater risk of developing urinary bladder cancer.
- Cigarette smokers are at very high risk of developing bladder cancer. In the United States of America almost half of the bladder cancer patients reported are cigarette smoker that shows very close relationship between cigarette smoking and urinary bladder cancer.
- Patients who have family history of urinary bladder cancer are more prone to this disease.
- Patients who had bladder cancer in their past life which was cured at that time are also at risk to develop urinary bladder cancer.
- Men are at more risk to develop bladder cancer then the females.
The symptoms of urinary bladder cancer include hematuria (Blood in urine), pain in the lower abdomen, weight loss, loss of appetite, loss of weight, pain in the flank region, frequent urinary tract infections, frequent urinations and urine incontinence.