What Is Bladder Cancer?
Bladder cancer is a malignant tumor of the bladder, the hollow, muscular organ that stores urine. It affects over 500 people in Ireland each year. Men are affected more often than women.
The greatest risk factor for bladder cancer is smoking. Risk also increases with age: bladder cancer is rare in people under 40.
Exposure to certain workplace chemicals and family history of the disease are also associated with increased risk of developing bladder cancer.
Symptoms of Bladder Cancer
Common symptoms of bladder cancer include blood in urine and frequent, painful urination.
However, these symptoms are not caused only by bladder cancer. They may result from other problems, including urinary tract infections, kidney stones, and an enlarged prostate gland. Therefore, getting a correct diagnosis is very important.
Bladder Cancer Treatment
When bladder cancer is found and treated early, the chances for survival are very good.
Surgery to remove all or part of the bladder is the common treatment. The type of surgery depends largely on the size of the tumor, how far it has spread, and how quickly it is spreading.
Partial cystectomy, the removal of a segment of the bladder, is an option when the tumor is low-grade and has affected only one area of the bladder.
When the cancer is aggressive or involves a large part of the bladder, radical cystectomy, the removal of the entire bladder and surrounding structures, is performed.
Our surgeons are specialists in partial and radical cystectomy for the treatment of bladder cancer.
For many patients who require a cystectomy, the procedure is a desirable alternative to wearing a bag to drain urine. When this reconstruction is performed by highly experienced surgeons, the new bladder gives patients the ability to urinate without the need for a catheter and significantly improves their quality of life.
Contact Us About Bladder Cancer Treatment at UPMC
If you have questions about your urologic health or are experiencing symptoms associated with bladder cancer, visit your GP and ask for a referral to see one of our urology consultants at UPMC Aut Even Hospital, UPMC Whitfield Hospital or UPMC Kildare Hospital.