The most common type of bladder cancer is what doctors call a non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer, which is when the cancerous cells are contained in the lining of the bladder - most people don't die from this type of cancer.
A less common form of bladder cancer is when the tumour spreads into the surroundings bladder muscles (muscle-invasive bladder cancer), which has a higher risk of spreading to other parts of the body.
What are the symptoms?
- Blood in urine - this is the most common symptom, which is not always noticeable and might come and go.
- A need to urinate more frequently
- Burning when urinating
- Pelvic pain, bone pain, weight loss, swelling of the legs (these symptoms appear when the cancer reaches an advanced stage and begins to spread)
Who is at risk?
- People being exposed to chemicals (working with textiles, paints, plastics etc.)
- People with chronic bladder infections
- White people
- Older people (the majority of bladder cancers occur after the age of 55)
- People with a family history of bladder cancer
The treatment will depend on which type of bladder cancer and the risk of the cancer spreading to other parts of the body or how spread it is already.
Treatment may include:
- A transurethral resection of a bladder tumour (TURBT), which is cutting away the visible tumours from the bladder lining
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