Bladder cancer is a type of malignant cancer that originates in the urinary bladder and mainly affects men. There are different types of bladder cancer depending on the degree of malignancy of the cells that constitute the tumor.
The incidence of bladder cancer is increasing in Western countries. In Spain, 12,000 new cases are diagnosed each year according to data from the Spanish Association of Urology. Bladder tumors constitute 10% of all tumors affecting men.
Eighty percent of bladder cancer cases, generally treated in urology, are confined to the mucosa or submucosa. The other 20% of patients have invasion of the muscular layer or pelvic lymph node involvement.
The majority of bladder tumors, approximately 90%, are transitional cell carcinomas. The rest are squamous cell carcinomas or adenocarcinomas.
The main symptom of bladder cancer is hematuria, i.e. the emission of blood in the urine.
Bladder cancer: causes
The main cause of bladder carcinoma is smoking and exposure to certain carcinogenic chemicals. The risk of bladder cancer also increases significantly with age.
Smoking is the most important risk factor and the prognosis of smokers is worse than other factors such as stage, histological grade, size or multifocality of the tumor.
The chemical substances that can induce the appearance of this type of cancer are:
- Aromatic amines: they are the first recognized carcinogens. Occupational risk groups are workers in the following industries: printing, metal smelting, aluminum workers, paint industries.
- Dyes derived from aniline
- Some polycyclic hydrocarbons.
- Hydroxylated derivatives of halogenated and sulfonated products.
- Industrial derivatives of tryptophan.
Prognosis of bladder cancer
The prognosis of bladder cancer depends on different factors:
- Number of tumors present at diagnosis.
- Recurrence rate over a previous period of time.
- Tumor size
- Degree of malignancy of the tumor
- Location of the tumor
Types of bladder cancer treatments
The type of treatment depends on the type of tumor diagnosed. The highest category of T and G detected in the bladder defines the treatment.
Endoscopic image of a bladder cancer