The bladder is a hollow, sac-shaped muscular organ responsible for storing and excreting urine. Bladder cancer refers to a disease in which malignant cells form in the bladder, an organ that stores urine. It consists of transitional cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and adenocarcinoma depending on the cell type. Transitional cell carcinoma derived from transitional epithelial cells in direct contact with urine accounts for about 90% of the total incidence. Bladder cancer mainly occurs in people in their 60s and 70s, and it is reported that men have a 3 to 4 times higher risk than women. It is known that the main causes affecting the occurrence and progression of bladder cancer are exposure to various chemicals from the manufacture of rubber, leather, printed products, and paint products, smoking, age, infection, and bladder stones. In addition, excessive consumption of artificial sweeteners and coffee, painkillers, anticancer drugs, and radiation therapy have also been known to act as risk factors affecting the occurrence. Now, let’s learn about the main symptoms, treatment, and prevention of bladder cancer one by one. The main symptoms of bladder cancer
The main symptom of bladder cancer is blood in the urine without pain. In about 80 to 90% of bladder cancer patients, this symptom of hematuria appears first, and in some cases, visible hematuria and microscopic hematuria may appear. And sometimes it can be excreted as a clotted blood mass. These symptoms of hematuria do not appear all the time, they may not appear, and may appear slightly at the beginning and end of urination.
In addition, if the formed cancer cells cause necrosis, stones, or intraepithelial cancer, a sudden feeling of urination may occur, pain during urination, and frequent urination may occur. In addition, if a ureter is blocked by bladder cancer, swelling of the lower extremities and lateral abdominal pain may occur.
Bladder Cancer Treatment and Prevention
1. Examination and treatment
To diagnose bladder cancer, a urine test to check inflammation and blood discharge in the urine and a urine cell test to check for cancer cells in the urine are performed. In addition, cystoscopy, CT, MRI, and bone scan tests to check the presence, location, and shape of tumors that may exist in the bladder and urethra are also test methods for accurately diagnosing bladder cancer. According to the diagnosis result, it is confirmed whether the tumor exists only on the bladder surface, the bladder muscle and surrounding tissues, or the surrounding pelvic organs and lymph nodes, and then the appropriate treatment is applied. In the case of superficial bladder cancer treatment, transurethral resection, intravesical BCG, and injection of chemotherapy are considered. In the case of invasive bladder cancer, invasive treatment including cystectomy can be performed. In invasive bladder cancer, treatment that preserves the bladder can be attempted, and in this case, partial cystectomy, radiation, and chemotherapy can be combined. Bladder cancer is known to have a high recurrence rate, so it is very important to manage it continuously even after treatment.
2. No smoking
Smoking is known to be a major risk factor influencing the development of bladder cancer. When you smoke, various harmful substances in cigarettes flow into the blood through the lungs and are transmitted to the bladder. It is reported that smokers are at least 2 to 7 times more likely to develop bladder cancer compared to nonsmokers, so it is very important to make an effort to quit smoking in preventing and managing bladder cancer. It is also important to minimize exposure to secondhand smoke because secondhand smoke is just as harmful to the body as direct smoking.
3. Eat fresh vegetables and fruits
In order to prevent the occurrence and recurrence of bladder cancer, it is very important to eat a balanced diet of fresh vegetables and fruits rich in antioxidants such as beta-carotene and plant physiologically active substances. According to several studies, it is reported that consumption of raw or cooked vegetables reduces the risk of bladder cancer by 0.3 to 0.9 times. There are results. In particular, consumption of cruciferous vegetables such as green vegetables and broccoli is known to be closely related to the prevention of bladder cancer, so it is important to consume them regularly.
On the other hand, excessive consumption of foods high in saturated fatty acids, such as red meat or processed meat, is known to be a risk factor that greatly affects the development of bladder cancer. The risk of bladder cancer more than doubled when eating salted or roasted meat continued, and the risk of bladder cancer increased by 1.4 to 1.7 times when a diet containing high fat continued. is being reported. Therefore, it is said that red meat, processed meat and animal fat should be consumed as little as possible, and when cooking meat, less salt is used, and it is helpful in the prevention of bladder cancer, which is eaten boiled or steamed rather than grilled. In addition, drinking plenty of clean water increases the frequency of urination, which in turn facilitates the discharge of harmful substances from the bladder, which is believed to help prevent bladder cancer.