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Bladder Cancer - Topic Overview

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The treatment depends a lot on how much the cancer has grown. Most bladder cancers are treated without having to remove the bladder.

Sometimes doctors do have to remove the bladder. For some people, this means having urine flow into a bag outside of the body. But in many cases, doctors can make a new bladder—using other body tissue—that works very much like the old one.

Bladder cancer often comes back. The new tumors can often be treated successfully if they are caught early. So it's very important to have regular checkups after your treatment is done.

Finding out that you have cancer can change your life. You may feel like your world has turned upside down and you have lost all control. Talking with family, friends, or a counselor can really help. Ask your doctor about support groups. Or call the American Cancer Society (1-800-227-2345) or visit its website at www.cancer.org.

Anything that increases your chances of getting a disease is called a risk factor. The main risk factors for bladder cancer include:

  • Smoking. Cigarette smokers are much more likely than other people to get bladder cancer.
  • Being older than 40, being male, or being white (Caucasian).
  • Being exposed to cancer-causing chemicals, such as those used in the wood, rubber, and textile industries.
  • What you eat. A diet high in fried meats and fats increases your risk for bladder cancer.
  • Parasites. There is a parasite that causes schistosomiasis, which can increase your risk. This condition is sometimes found in developing countries and rarely occurs in North America.

Learning about bladder cancer:

Being diagnosed:

Getting treatment:

Ongoing concerns:

Living with bladder cancer:

Supportive care:

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: April 30, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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