Bladder cancer

This text provides information in simple language on the topic: bladder cancer

What is bladder cancer?

The bladder is an important organ in the lower abdomen. The urine collects in the bladder. Is there a lot of urine in the bladder? Then this becomes noticeable: You have to urinate and excrete the urine.

In bladder cancer, a tumor grows in the bladder.

Info cell division: The human body consists of many cells. The cells multiply. The cells can divide. This is also called: cell division. Cell division is important for the body. The cells in the body can renew themselves through cell division. Such tissue is the skin, for example.

Sometimes the cells divide uncontrollably. Then there may be too many new cells. One also says: tumor. Not every tumor is malignant. But a tumor usually displaces healthy tissue. A tumor can grow in different places in the body. In bladder cancer, the tumor grows in the bladder.

Bladder cancer almost only affects people over the age of 70. Younger people very rarely get bladder cancer. Men are more likely to develop bladder cancer than women.

How can you recognize bladder cancer?

The signs of bladder cancer are non-specific. That means: the signs can be signs of bladder cancer. However, the signs can also point to another illness. The symptoms can, for example, indicate a bladder infection. Examples of signs of bladder cancer are:

  • The urine is red-brown in color.
  • The urine contains blood.
  • You have a frequent need to urinate. But only small amounts of urine come out.
  • You have cramps and bladder pain.

Do you have any signs of bladder cancer? Then go to the doctor. The doctor will examine you and can help you.

The doctor examines you. And the doctor will ask you about your symptoms. Then the doctor examines the urine. To do this, you provide a urine sample. The doctor may also take pictures of your bladder and the organs in your stomach. The doctor can see on the images: Do you have a tumor in the bladder?

Sometimes the doctor also removes tissue from the bladder. Then the doctor examines the tissue. This is how the doctor can see: is the tumor benign or malignant?

Perhaps the doctor will also do further examinations. The cancer can spread to other organs. Daughter tumors then develop there. The technical term for these daughter tumors is: metastases. The metastases can also affect other organs. Your doctor determines: Do you already have metastases to other organs? Then the doctor will talk to you about further treatment.

What are the causes of bladder cancer?

Bladder cancer is a rare cancer. Bladder cancer can have a number of causes. These include, for example:

  • Smoke. Smoking can cause bladder cancer. Smoking can cause other types of cancer as well. Various substances are contained in tobacco. Many of the substances in tobacco can cause cancer. They smoke? Then your risk of bladder cancer is increased. Passive smoking also increases the risk of bladder cancer. Passive smoking means: a person does not smoke himself. But the person inhales the cigarette smoke of other people.
  • Pollutants in the workplace. Some people work with dangerous chemicals. Some of these substances can cause cancer. Such substances are, for example, vapors or dust from certain materials.
  • Medication. Some medications can increase the risk of bladder cancer. Does your doctor prescribe medication for you? The doctor will then explain to you: The drug can have these side effects.
  • Radiotherapy. Radiation therapy is used to treat cancer. However, the radiation can also damage healthy tissue. Have you already had another type of cancer and received radiation therapy? Then your risk of bladder cancer may be increased.
  • Frequent bladder infections can damage the bladder. Then the risk of bladder cancer may be greater.
  • Disposition. A disposition is an innate trait.Do other people in your family have bladder cancer? Then your risk of bladder cancer may also be higher.

What can you do about bladder cancer?

Your doctor has determined: Do you have bladder cancer? Then the doctor will talk to you about the best treatment.

The doctor usually removes the tumor in an operation. Sometimes the doctor also injects medication into the bladder. The drug cannot cause a new tumor in the bladder. Has cancer already grown a lot? Then the doctor may need to remove the entire bladder. The doctor will then replace the bladder with an artificial urine drain.

The tumor is very large? Then affected people first get radiation therapy. The radiation destroys the cancer cells. Therefore the tumor shrinks. After radiation therapy, the doctor removes small residues from the tumor in an operation.

Have you had an operation? Then aftercare is very important. Sometimes a new tumor forms. With follow-up care, the doctor can identify and treat a new tumor in good time.

How can you avoid bladder cancer?

Would you like to reduce your risk of bladder cancer? Then there are a few things you can do:

  • Are you a smoker? Then you should stop smoking. Smoking is a common cause of cancer. Are you finding it difficult to quit? Then talk to your doctor. Your doctor can advise you and suggest various types of help.
  • Avoid passive smoking. Another person smokes near you? Then keep a sufficient distance from the person. Ventilate frequently in enclosed spaces. Warning: Passive smoking is particularly harmful to children. Are you a smoker and want to protect your children from smoke? Then don't smoke around your children. Also, do not smoke in the shared apartment. Go outside to smoke.
  • Do you work with dangerous substances in your job? Then pay attention to the correct occupational safety. Talk to your employer about the right protection in the workplace. Often the employer will also provide you with special protective masks.
  • Have you already had bladder cancer? Then go to regular follow-up care. The cancer can come back. During follow-up care, the doctor can see: Have you got bladder cancer again? Then the doctor can treat you in time. Your doctor will also discuss with you: This is how often you should come for follow-up care.

Where can you get more information?

Would you like to read more about bladder cancer? You can find more information about bladder cancer here. Attention: This link leads out of our simple language offer. The information is then no longer in plain language.

Attention: This text only contains general information. The text does not replace a visit to the doctor. Only a doctor can give you accurate information. Are you feeling sick? Or do you have questions about an illness? Then you should always see a doctor.

We wrote the texts together with the Light Language Research Center. The light language research center is at the University of Hildesheim.

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