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