Associate Professor from the Urology Department of Memorial Şişli Hospital. Dr. Fatih Yanaral gave information about the causes and treatment methods of bladder cancer. Assoc. Dr. Yanaral stated that bladder cancer, the most important cause of which is smoking and seen more frequently in men than in women, is one of the most common malignant tumors in the urinary tract. It manifests itself with blood in the urine, swelling in the feet, back pain and unexplained weight loss. Early diagnosis is of great importance in the treatment of bladder cancer, as in all types of cancer. Considering the stage and grade of bladder cancer and the general health of the patient, it increases the success of the patient with treatments specially planned for the patient. said.
Smokers are 3 times more at risk
Assoc. Dr. Yanaral listed the main causes of bladder cancer, the most important reason of which is smoking addiction, as follows:
“Smoking: Smokers are at least 3 times more at risk of developing bladder cancer than non-smokers. Some of the chemicals in cigarette smoke are excreted in the urine. But these harmful chemicals can increase your risk of cancer by damaging the lining of the bladder.
Advanced age: Bladder cancer is rare at younger ages. However, as the age progresses, this risk increases day by day, especially after the age of 40-50.
Being male: The incidence of bladder cancer is higher in males than females.
Exposure to chemicals: The kidneys play an important role in filtering harmful chemicals from your bloodstream and transporting them to the bladder. Therefore, some chemicals that accumulate in the bladder increase the risk of bladder cancer.
Chronic bladder inflammation: Prolonged use of urinary catheters, chronic or recurrent urinary tract infections can increase the risk of bladder cancer.
Personal or family history of cancer: Some drugs used to treat cancer, and especially radiation therapy to the pelvis, increase the risk of developing bladder cancer. In addition, people with a family history of bladder cancer or another cancer have a higher risk of developing bladder cancer.
25% of bladder cancer is diagnosed late
Stating that the incidence of bladder cancer, which ranks fourth among the most common cancers in men, is increasing day by day, Assoc. Dr. Yanal said:
“According to 2022 data, bladder cancer constitutes more than 4% of patients diagnosed with new cancer and approximately 3% of all cancer-related deaths. Bladder cancer usually originates from the inner surface of the bladder, and as the disease progresses, it can grow into deeper muscle tissue and spread to the lymph nodes. The most important reason is smoking and 25 percent of bladder cancer, which can progress insidiously without showing any symptoms at the beginning, is diagnosed late in the advanced stage.
Stating that the symptoms of bladder cancer before it spreads and metastasizes can enable the diagnosis of the disease, Assoc. Dr. Yanaral listed those symptoms as follows:
“Blood in the urine: It is one of the most common and most important symptoms of bladder cancer. Blood in the urine, also known as hematuria, is usually painless and easily noticeable.
Swelling in the feet: The malignant tumor that occurs in the urinary tract causes the kidneys to malfunction by putting pressure on the urinary tract. This may cause swelling due to the lack of proper blood circulation in the patient's feet.
Back pain: Back pain can occur when tumors increase in size or cancer cells begin to spread to other parts of your body.
Unwanted weight loss: One of the symptoms of bladder cancer is unintended weight loss and loss of appetite, which occurs when the immune system is weakened.
Other urinary complaints: Similar to urinary tract infections, bladder cancer can cause urinary complaints such as pain and burning sensation when urinating. Inability to urinate due to clots due to bleeding may occur. It can also cause complaints such as the need to urinate frequently and the sudden urge to urinate.
High success with personalized treatment
Assoc. Dr. Yanaral pointed out that early diagnosis and treatment are of great importance in bladder cancer, as in all cancer types, and said, “There are different types of treatment for bladder cancer. Patient-specific treatment planning is made by considering the stage and degree of cancer and the general health of the patient. The primary treatment for bladder cancer is surgery. Successful results can be obtained with surgeries planned according to the stage, degree and location of the cancer. Some patients may be given chemotherapy before surgery to shrink the tumor and reduce the amount of tissue that needs to be removed during surgery. Some treatments are also used to reduce the risk of cancer recurrence after surgery. In addition, some patients are given chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, or targeted therapies after surgery.” he said.