Actos and its generic, pioglitazone, are prescribed for patients with type II diabetes to help control blood sugar. The medication works by helping the body use insulin better. Like other types of medications, Actos does have is risks and benefits. One recent discovery is that patients taking the medication for one than one year increases their risk of developing bladder cancer. According to the FDA a current study reported that taking the medication for more than one year increases bladder cancer risks by 40 percent. The FDA has not banned pioglitazone or other medication that contain the drug, instead they advise only taking it one year or less and avoid it if you have or have had bladder cancer.
The bladder is located in the center of the lower belly and its job it to hold and release urine. Bladder cancer generally starts from the cells lining the bladder. These cells are known as transitional cells. The tumors that develop are classified by how they grow. Papillary tumors contain a stalk and resemble a wart. Nonpapillary tumors, also known as sessile, are not as common as papillary tumors, but are more persistent and have a worse outcome.
Causes of Bladder Cancer
Doctors do not know the exactly what causes bladder cancer, but there are some factors that make a person more likely to develop it. Cigarette smoking is one. People who smoke greatly increase their risk for developing bladder cancer. Half of all cases of bladder cancer in men and women are caused by smoking. People who suffer with a long-term bladder infection are also likely to develop this type of cancer. Exposure to certain chemicals increases the risk as well. People exposed to carcinogens at work such as those who work with rubber, leather, pesticides, dye and aluminum all have an increased risk. Chemotherapy increases the risk of bladder cancer. In addition, women who have had radiation treatment for cervical cancer are at an increased risk. Certain medications, such as Actos and pioglitazone taken for a prolonged period puts a person at higher risk for bladder cancer.
Symptoms of Bladder Cancer
Patients taking Actos should be watchful of the symptoms associates with bladder cancer. These include:
- Urine leakage
- Lower Abdominal or back pain
- Red or dark colored urine
- Urgency, pain or frequency in urination
- Weight loss
- Bone pain and tenderness
If you notice any of these symptoms while taking Actos or pioglitazone, contact your doctor immediately.
Tests for Bladder Cancer
Your doctor will conduct a physical exam that includes examination of the rectum and pelvic area. Some test may include:
- CT scan of the abdominal area
- Urine cytology
- Examination of the inside of the bladder using a camera (Cystoscopy )
- Bladder biopsy
- Pelvic CT scan
- Intravenous pyelogram or IVP
If test confirm you have bladder cancer, the doctor will have other tests done to determine if the cancer has spread. At that time the stage of bladder cancer will be determined using a scale starting at stage 0 (noninvasive tumors in the bladder lining) up to state IV (Tumor has spread to lymph nodes or other sites).
Bladder cancer can spread to nearby areas including the rectum, prostate, uterus, vagina and ureter. It can also spread to pelvic lymph nodes and the liver, lungs and bones.
How the doctor decides to treat your bladder cancer will be determined by the stage of cancer, the severity of symptoms and overall health. Options include chemotherapy, surgery and immunotherapy. Prognosis depends on the initial stage and how the cancer responds to treatment.
PubMedHealth: Bladder Cancer
Health.org: FDA Warns of Bladder Cancer Risk with Actos
Actos is a medication used for the treatment of type II diabetes. The medication is used along with diet and exercise to help control blood sugar levels. Actos works by helping the body restore the proper response to insulin and lowering blood sugar. If a person does not maintain proper blood sugar levels, it can affect other parts of the body. Hyperglycemia or high blood sugar can damage the eyes and kidneys and affect nerve function. It can also lead to loss of limbs and sexual dysfunction. Keeping diabetes in control also helps reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Common and Serious Side Effects
Actos has both common (less serious) as well as serious side effects. As with any medication, if you experience swelling of the face, lips or throat, have trouble breathing or break out in hives, get medical attention immediately.
Some common side effects include muscle pain, sore throat, tooth problems or weight gain. Keep taking the medication even if these symptoms occur because your doctor had assessed your health needs and decided the benefits of this medication outweigh the risks in your case. However, if any of the side effects are persistent or worsen, do not hesitate to contact your doctor with any concerns.
The more serious side effects associated with Actos require immediate medical attention. These include dark colored urine, urgent need to urinate, painful urination chest pain, vision problems and bone fractures. Although rare, the medication can cause liver disease, so contact a doctor right away if you are experiencing symptoms such as yellowing or the skin or eyes, dark urine, stomach or abdominal pain or persistent nausea and vomiting.
Actos in not likely to cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), but it is possible, especially if Actos is prescribed in combination with other anti-diabetic drugs. Hypoglycemia is also more likely to occur if you drink large amounts of alcoholic beverages, do not consume enough calories from food or exercise more than usual. You can prevent the occurrence of hypoglycemia by maintaining a regular eating schedule and avoiding alcohol and strenuous exercise.
To avoid a possible life threatening situation, know the symptoms of hypoglycemia. Symptoms of low blood sugar include:
- Blurred vision
- Tingling in the hand and feet
You should keep glucose tablets or gel with you at all times to use in an emergency situation. If these are not available, you can raise blood sugar quickly by consuming non-diet soft drinks, candy, honey, fruit juice or table sugar. It is important that your family also understands the symptoms of hypoglycemia and what to do in an emergency situation.
Patients should not take Actos longer than one year because of an increased risk of developing bladder cancer.
Actos is not for everyone. You should discuss all your health problems and medication with your doctor before taking the medication, especially if you suffer from any of the following symptoms or illnesses.
- Water retention
- Chronic or severe heart failure
- Abnormal liver function
- Bladder cancer
- Liver problems
- Recent operation
Women and Actos
Women are more likely than men to experience bone fractures while taking Actos. The fractures commonly occur in the hands, feet and upper arms. Some women begin to have periods again after a prolonged time of absence of menses due to illness. If this occurs, pregnancy is possible and women should discuss birth control options with their doctor.
It is unknown whether taking Actos during pregnancy will cause harm to the fetus or if it passes into the breast milk. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant before taking Actos.
WebMD: Actos Oral
Drugs.com: Actos Side Effects
Actos (pioglitazone) and Avanti (Rosiglitazone) are both medications prescribed for the treatment of type II diabetes. The medications work by altering the way the body reacts to insulin. As with all drugs there are risks associated with these medications. Actos is associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer and both Avanti and Actos are associated with an increased risk of heart failure.
Actos and its generic pioglitazone are in a class of drugs known as thiazolidinediones. This medication is prescribed to treat patients with type II diabetes. It works with the body to help it use insulin better. This medication may not be right for people who have or have had congestive heart failure or other problems. Anyone born with a heart defect should not use this medication as it increases the risk of heart attacks. Actos has also been associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer when taken longer than one year.
Avanti and its generic rosiglitazone are prescribed to treat patients with type II diabetes. It works by helping the body use insulin more effectively. Avanti increases the risk of heart attack and stroke and is not recommended for patients who already have heart problems. It should only be used if the diabetes cannot be controlled with other diabetic medications. Tell your doctor if you have or have had congestive heart failure, heart attack or strokes before taking Avanti.
Actos and Avanti Side Effects
Both medications have known side effects. These side effects include:
- Swelling of the ankles and water retention, especially in older people
- Weight gain
- Muscle weakness
These medications also may increase the risk of pregnancy in women with polycystic ovary disease (PCOS). To avoid an unwanted pregnancy, premenopausal women need to discuss birth control options with their doctor when taking these medications. The FDA requires anyone taking these medications to have routine liver test because of a slight risk of liver damage associated with these diabetic medications. If any changes in liver function are detected, the patient must stop taking the medicine.
Recent studies have shown Avanti to increase the risk of heart failure more than other diabetic drugs, including Actos. In 2007, some studies linked Avanti to increased risk of heart failure and death in patients taking the medication. Later testing showed Avanti was a bigger risk than Actos in the elderly and it increased the risk of not only heart failure but also stroke and death.
Even though earlier studies showed Avanti to be riskier than Actos for those with heart problems, more recent studies has found that one medication in not safer than the other. American regulators considered taking Avanti off the market after the FDA said that a warning about the risk of heart failure should be added to the product label and prescription information. If you have question about either medication, your doctor or pharmacists can be a source of information and advise you on benefits and risks.
Talk with your doctor about Actos and Avanti if other diabetes medications are not working for you. There are benefits and many people take the medication safely and it helps them regulate their blood sugar levels. The important thing to remember is to discuss all your past and current health conditions with your doctor before deciding on either medication. Patients can only take Actos safely for one year without increasing their risk of bladder cancer. Avanti has been shown to increase the occurrence of heart attack and stroke resulting in death. Weigh your options carefully to allow your doctor to help you make an informed decision.
ABC New Health: Avanti Raises Heart Failure Risk More Than Actos
WebMD: Avanti Riskier than Actos
Like most cancers, the cause of bladder cancer is not known. Several environmental factors play a role in increasing the risks. Smoking and exposure to certain chemicals raise risks. Research suggest that chronic bladder inflammation caused by the parasitic infection known as schistosomiasis, and certain medications used to treat other cancers are along with the environmental risk factors are all associated with bladder cancer. There are also some genetics factors that contribute to the risk of developing bladder cancer.
Genetic factors may also play an important role in the development of bladder cancer. Researchers have examined the change associated with mutations on certain genes concerning tumor growth and development. Each of the genes tested played an important role in the regulation of dividing cells and by stopping them from separating too fast or going awry. Variations in these genes may one day help make it clear why some bladder cancers develop and spread faster than others.
Chromosome 9 plays a part in bladder cancer. The deletion of this chromosome commonly occurs in bladder cancer. This leads strengthens researchers’ beliefs that many of the genes that control cell growth are located on Chromosome 9. Further research of these genes is needed to determine if a loss of this gene plays a role in the development and growth of bladder cancer.
The majority of genetic changes associated with bladder cancer develop in a person’s bladder during their lifetime, instead of being inherited from a relative. However, some people seem to inherit a reduction in the ability to break down certain chemicals. This also makes them more sensitive to the environmental factors such as cigarette smoke or chemicals.
Is Bladder Cancer Inherited?
The answer is no. Bladder cancer is not usually inherited. In most cases, the tumors result from the genetic mutations that occur during a person’s lifetime. These are called somatic genes, or genes that are not inherited. Research as this time does not support any evidence that bladder cancer is inherited. Having a parent with bladder cancer does mean you will develop the disease, but it may mean you are more susceptible.
The best way to prevent bladder cancer is to live a healthy life style and eat a diet rich in lean meats and a variety of fruits and vegetables. Diet plays a big role in the body’s ability to ward off disease and fight illnesses. If you are a smoker, stop smoking. There are programs available to help people stop smoking and improve their health. If you work in a place where you come in contact with chemicals know to be carcinogens, follow all safety precautions and limit exposure as much as possible. Have your water tested for arsenic. If you find arsenic in your water supply, you can drink bottled water or invest in water filtration system for your home. Drink plenty of liquids, especially water and do not hold urine for long periods of time. Drinking adequate amounts water helps the body flush toxins and chemicals from the body.
Early detection is the best chance of a cure for bladder cancer. Over 90 percent of bladder cancers caught early are curable. Know the symptoms of bladder cancer and if you feel you are suffering with the symptoms, contact your doctor right away. Following a healthy diet and avoiding risk factors are also a good way to reduce your risks. While there may be some genetic aspects to development of bladder cancer, it is not likely that it is inherited. Further research is needed to determine exactly how genes affect the development of cancer cells.
Cornell University: Bladder Cancer Causes
Genetics Home Reference: Bladder Cancer
The bladder is the small organ situated in the middle of the lower abdomen. Its purpose is to hold and release urine. Bladder cancer begins when cancer cells develop in the bladder. The majority of bladder cancers begin in the lining of the organ. Symptoms include blood in the urine, painful or frequent urination and pain in the lower abdomen. It is not know what causes bladder cancer. However, there are certain risk factors that make one more susceptible to bladder cancer. If you have one or more of the risk factors and have symptoms of bladder cancer, you should contact your doctor right away.
How Bladder Cancer Develops
Bladder cancer develops when the cells of the organ began to grow too rapidly. They no longer grow in an orderly fashion, but create mutated cells. These mutated cells grow out of control and do not die, resulting in a tumor. The three bladder cancer types include:
- Transitional cell carcinoma- This type of cancer begins in the cells in the lining of the bladder, and is the most common type in the United States. Transitional cells are the ones that expand for a full bladder and contract when the organ is emptied. Transitional cells also line the urethra and ureter, so tumors can form in those areas as well.
- Squamous cell carcinoma- Squamous cells emerge as a result of irritation or infection in the bladder, and can later become cancerous. This type of cancer is rarely seen in the United States. It is most countries where certain parasitic infections are common.
- Adenocarcinoma- This type of cancer begins in the bladder’s mucus-secreting cells. It is also rare in the United States.
In medical terms a risk factor is something that raises a person’s chance of developing a certain disease and condition. There are several risk factors associated with bladder cancer.
- Age- Chances of developing bladder cancer go up as we age. It is very rarely seen in people younger than 40 and very common in people age 65 or older.
- Smoking- People who smoke have a high risk of developing bladder cancer.
- Bladder defects- People born with certain bladder defects are more likely to develop adenocarcinoma, which is a cancer in the mucus-secreting glands of the bladder.
- Ethnic background- Caucasians are more likely to develop bladder cancer than people of other races or ethnicities.
- Chronic bladder infections- Chronic means repeated or long-term type of infections. People who suffer with chronic bladder infections have an increased chance of developing squamous cell bladder cancer, which are the cancer cells that appear in your bladder in response to infection or irritation. This is most common in other countries where parasitic infections cause a chronic condition.
- Exposure to certain chemicals- Anyone exposed to arsenic or those that job requires they work with plastics, rubber, paints, dyes, textiles and leather have a higher risk of developing bladder cancer than those who do not.
- Cancer therapies-Women who have used radiation to treat cervical cancer run a higher risk of bladder cancer later in life. Some chemotherapy drugs such as ifosfamide (Ifex) and Cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan) and have also been shown to raise the risk.
The cause of bladder cancer is not known. However certain risk factors raise a person’s chances of developing bladder cancer. Transitional cell carcinoma is common in the United States, while squamous cell carcinoma and adrenocarcinoma are rare. If you have symptoms of bladder cancer and are in one or more of the high risk categories, make an appointment with your doctor to assess your symptoms. Bladder cancer survival rates are higher if caught and treated early.
American Cancer Society: What Causes Bladder Cancer?
The occurrence, mortality rate and morbidity rates vary by country, race, gender and ethnicity. In the United States bladder cancer is the fourth most common cancer type in men and the ninth most common cancer type among women. More than 50,000 men are diagnosed each year, while only more than 16,000 women are diagnosed each year. Smoking is one explanation for the higher incidents as is androgen receptor that is more active in men than in women and plays an important part in the development of bladder cancer. The diabetes medication, Actos, has also been associated with causing bladder cancer.
The androgen receptor is a protein that is more active in men than women. Research shows that this protein plays an important role in the development of bladder cancer. This cancer is three times more likely to affect men than women. It is suspected that the male hormones work in combination with the androgen receptors, but this has not been proven. Before research brought the androgen receptor to light, scientists suspected that the cause of higher bladder cancer diagnosis for men were due more men smoking and men working in jobs around high risk chemicals. This research has opened new door in the study of bladder cancer.
The diabetes drug Actos has been linked to an increased risk of bladder cancer in patients who take it for more than one year. Actos and its generic, pioglitazone, are prescribed for patients with type II diabetes to help control blood sugar. The medication works by helping the body use insulin better. Like other types of medications, Actos does have risks and benefits. According to the FDA, a current study reported that patients taking Actos for more than one year increase their risk of bladder cancer risks by 40 percent. The FDA has not banned pioglitazone or other medications that contain the drug, but they do advise patients to take it for only one year or less and avoid it if you have or have had bladder cancer.
Race and Age
Age is a factor is the development of bladder cancer. The older the person the higher the risk becomes. Rarely are people under 40 diagnosed with bladder cancer, but it is more common in people 65 and older. Race also plays a role in the development of bladder cancer. Caucasians are at the highest risk compared to all other races and ethnicities. American Indians have the lowest incidence of bladder cancer compared to all other ethnicities. It is not known why these variations occur in different races.
The United States has the highest incidence of transitional cell carcinoma, which is bladder cancer that begins in the cells lining the organ. Bladder cancers such as squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma are very rare in the United States. Squamous cell carcinoma is more prevalent in countries were parasitic infestations are common as it develops as a response to irritation or infection of the bladder, and later become cancerous.
When looking over bladder cancer epidemiology, one will find that many factors may play a role in the development of bladder cancer and that continuing research may pave the way for more understanding of the disease and how to improve treatment. In addition, more research will give the medical community more insight into risk factors and causes of this type of cancer, which may lead to prevention of the cancer in the future. One method of preventing bladder cancer is to avoid as many risk factors as possible and if you have any symptoms of bladder cancer get it checked out right away.
University of Rochester Medical Center: Scientists Find One Reason Why Bladder Cancer Hits More Men
Alberto Redaelli, et al. “Bladder cancer: epidemiology, diagnosis, and management.” Cancer Practice 10.6 (2002): 311-322. MEDLINE. EBSCO. Web. 19 Sept. 2011.
Bladder cancer is defined as a cancer that forms in the organ known as the bladder. The cancer forms when cells become malignant and begin to grow rapidly forming tumors. The most common form of bladder cancer in the United States is known as transitional cell carcinoma. This type of cancer begins within the cells of the bladder lining. Less common types in the United States include squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma. It is important to know the symptoms of bladder cancer and these include painful or frequent urination and blood in the urine. There are some facts everyone should know concerning bladder cancer.
Bladder Cancer Facts
People need to know the facts about bladder cancer and the symptoms to help prevent it or catch it early. An early diagnosis gives you a higher chance of curing the cancer. Some facts people should know include:
- Bladder cancer is twice as likely to be curable is caught and treated early. The five-year survival rate associated with early detection is about 90 percent. Advanced cancer is more difficult to treat.
- Blood in the urine is the most common symptoms associated with bladder cancer.
- Bladder infections can also cause some of the symptoms associated with bladder cancer. These included frequent urination, painful urination and a burning sensation when urinating.
- There are about 55,000 cases of bladder cancer each year in the United States and 9,000 deaths.
- Bladder cancer is the 9th most common cancer among women and the fourth most common cancer among men.
- Bladder cancer can develop at any age, but it is commonly found in people over the age of 50.
- The most common form of bladder cancer is transitional cell carcinoma, which is cancer of the bladder lining.
- Diagnosis of bladder cancer is done through a biopsy using cytoscopy.
- Approximately 90 percent of bladder cancer patients are treated with surgery or some sort of therapy and surgery together.
- Radiation is rarely used as a main treatment in fighting bladder cancer even though radiation can increase local control, stop the spread of the cancer and help cure it.
There are a few things a person can do to help reduce their risk of developing bladder cancer. These include:
- Stop or don’t start smoking. Smokers are at a much higher risk of bladder cancer than nonsmokers. If you need help in quitting smoking, your doctor can offer some guidance.
- Avoid arsenic exposure. It is best to have your water tested and if you suspect arsenic in your drinking water, you can buy bottled water or invest in a water filtration system.
- Avoid exposure to chemicals. Chemicals such as benzene substances and arylamines increase bladder cancer risks. Also, exposure to rubbers, textiles, dyes, paints and leather should also be avoided or at least follow all safety precautions for these substances.
- Stay hydrated. Adequate fluid intake, especially water, dilutes cancer causing toxins and helps flush them from your bladder.
- Eat healthy. What you eat plays a role in your health and your body’s ability to ward off disease.
- Eat Fruits and vegetables. Many fruits and vegetables have high antioxidant properties that will help keep cells healthy. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables can help fight free radicals that cause disease.
Know the Facts
Once you know the facts about bladder cancer you can take steps to better your chances of prevention, know what to do if you have bladder cancer symptoms and know what to expect with a cancer diagnosis. It is important to keep in mind that early detection is vital in curing bladder cancer.
The Rhode Island Cancer Council: Bladder Cancer: The Facts
The bladder is a hallow organ located in the center of the abdomen. Its job is to store and release the body’s liquid waste (urine). The entire urinary tract is made up of bladder, kidneys, ureter, urethra and the cell lining called the urothelium. This layer of cells is separated from the bladder muscles by a fibrous, thin band called the lamina propria.
Bladder Cancer Defined
Bladder cancer begins when the cells of the bladder change and start growing rapidly. This uncontrollable growth forms a mass or tumor. There are two types of tumors. Benign tumors are noncancerous and not pose a threat or spread to other parts of the body. The cancerous tumors are malignant and can spread to other organs and areas of the body.
Noninvasive or Invasive
Bladder cancer can be classified as noninvasive and invasive. The noninvasive type doesn’t develop past the thin, fibrous band separating the cell lining from the bladder muscles, while invasive cancer is able and often does spread past the separating band. Noninvasive cancer does not mean the cancer is not serious, it just means the cancer if more manageable with surgery to remove the tumors and it is less likely to spread. Invasive cancer is of two types. One type extends into the lamina propria and the other type extends into the muscle layers. Both the invasive and the noninvasive bladder cancers can extend into the bladder muscle as well as other parts of the body.
Types of Bladder Cancer
The different types of bladder cancer are diagnosed based on the type of cell where the cancer began. There are three main types of bladder cancer.
- Urothelial carcinoma account for 90 percent of all bladder cancers. With this type of cancer the tumor begins in the urothelium. The tumors can be categorized in one for four subcategories.
- Noninvasive flat urothelial carcinoma develops in the layer of cells nearest to the bladder and appears as flat lesion on the bladder surface. Invasive flat urothelial cancer can spread deeper into the bladder layer and into the bladder muscles.
- Papillary Urothelial cancer is polyp or flower-shaped growths that have a stalk. Noninvasive forms grow in the hallow part of the bladder. Invasive forms can reach into the muscle layer.
- Superficial urothelial carcinoma is found in the urothelium and hasn’t extended to the deeper muscle layers.
- Muscle invasive urothelial carcinoma develops the muscular layers of the bladder and to the surrounding tissues around the muscle as well as fatty layers.
- Squamous cell carcinoma starts in the flat, thin squamous cells and accounts for about four percent of all bladder cancers.
- Adeno carcinoma starts in the glandular cells and account for approximately two percent of all bladder cancers.
There is no way to guarantee a person will not develop bladder cancer, but there are steps you can take to help reduce the risk.
- Stop smoking- smoking cigarettes allows cancer causing chemicals to collect in your bladder. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you do smoke, find a method to help you quit.
- Drink water- Drinking water helps dilute toxic substances that can be concentrated in your urine and helps flush them away.
- Be safe with chemicals- People who work with chemicals can lessen their risks by following all chemical safety instructions.
- Healthy diet- Choosing to eat a diet rich in antioxidants is a great way to reduce your risk of cancer. Eat of variety or fruits, vegetable and lean meats to maintain health.
If you have notice any symptoms of bladder cancer such as dark colored urine, urinary frequency, painful urinations, urine leakage, weight loss or lower abdominal pain, contact your doctor right away.
University of Maryland Medical Center: Bladder Cancer Overview
Bladder cancer starts in the bladder, which is the organ used to hold and release urine. It is located in the lower belly area in the center. There are two types of tumors, and these are determined by how they grow. Papillary tumors are wart-like and grow on a stalk. Nonpapillary tumors are less common, more invasive and have a worse prognosis. The cause of bladder cancer is unknown, but there are some risk factors that raise your risk, such as smoking, working with certain chemicals, bladder infections, chemotherapy and radiation treatment of cervical cancer in women.
How well a person recovers from bladder cancer depends on how the body responds to treatment and the initial stage of diagnosis. Bladder cancer has a tumor, nodes and metastasis (TMN) system of staging as follows:
- Stage 0- Tumors are only in the bladder lining and noninvasive.
- Stage I- Tumors has spread beyond bladder lining, but has not invaded muscle tissue.
- Stage II- Tumor has spread to the bladder’s muscle layer.
- Stage III- Tumor has spread into the muscle layer and the surrounding tissue.
- Stage IV- Tumors has spread into the lymph nodes and other organs or sites.
The prognosis for Stage 0-I is good. There is a high risk of the cancer returning, but the tumors can be cured through surgical removal. The prognoses for later stages are not good. Stage III bladder cancer have a 50 percent cure rate, and those in stage IV bladder cancer are seldom cured.
Bladder cancer can spread to nearby organs. It may also spread into the pelvic lymph nodes, the liver, bones and lungs. Other complications associated with bladder cancer include anemia, urinary incontinence, urethral stricture and swelling of the ureters.
When to Call the Doctor
Since the prognosis for bladder cancer is better if caught in the early stages, you should see your doctor if you experience any of the symptoms of bladder cancer. The symptoms of bladder cancer include:
- Blood in the urine
- Urgent sensation to urinate
- Painful urination
In addition smoking and working around certain chemicals at works raise the risk, so call your health care provides immediately if either of these apply to you and you have the symptoms of bladder cancer.
Besides smoking and work-place chemicals there are other factors that increase a person’s risk of bladder cancer.
- Low fluid consumption- drinking adequate amounts of water helps the fluids in the bladder empty frequently and this prevents toxins or chemicals from lingering in the bladder.
- Arsenic- if there is arsenic in your drinking water this can increase of bladder cancer. The amount of arsenic in the water depends on where you live.
- Genetics- A family history of bladder cancer increases your risk.
- Radiation and chemotherapy- long-term exposure to either can increase your risk of bladder cancer.
- Bladder infections- those who suffer with chronic bladder infections are more likely to develop bladder cancer.
- Race- whites are twice as likely as other races to develop this type of cancer, and American Indians have the lowest rate. The reason for this is not fully understood.
- Age- the risk of bladder cancer increases as we age. About nine out of 10 people diagnosed with bladder cancer are over the age of 55.
To reduce your risk of bladder cancer, try to reduce activities such as smoking and follow all safety regulations for chemicals at your work place. Since the prognosis is better when treated in its earlier stages, see your doctor immediately if you notice symptoms of bladder cancer, especially if you are at a higher risk.
MedlinePlus: Bladder Cancer
American Cancer Society: Bladder Cancer
Bladder cancer occurs when the cells of the organ start growing too rapidly and mutate developing tumors. The type of bladder cancer most frequently diagnosed in the United States in Transitional cell carcinoma. This type of cancer begins in the cells lining the bladder. While it is not known what causes bladder cancer, there are several risk factors associated with the development of bladder cancer.
Doctors have compiled a list of risk factors that include:
- Gender- men have a higher risk of bladder cancer than women. It is the fourth common type of cancer in men, and only the ninth common in women.
- Age- The risk of bladder cancer increase as people age. Actually it can occur at any age, but it is rarely seen in people under the age of 40.
- Caucasian- white people have a higher risk of bladder cancer than people of any other race.
- Smoking- this includes not only cigarettes but also pipes and cigars. When a person smokes the body processes the chemicals inhaled and secretes them through the urine. These chemicals can harm the bladder lining and raise your cancer risks.
- Chemical exposure- Your kidneys help to filter harmful chemicals from your body and move them to the bladder. For this reason, it is believed that exposure to certain chemicals adds to the risk of bladder cancer. These chemicals used in the production of paint, rubber, leather, textiles, dyes and rubber are thought be the most harmful.
- Chronic bladder infection- having repeated or chronic bladder infections is thought to increase the risk of squamous cell carcinoma, which develops in response to inflammation, and linked to the parasitic infection schistosomiasis.
- Cancer treatments- previous cancer treatments such as radiation for cervical cancer or certain chemotherapy drugs like cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan) increase bladder cancer risks.
- History- your personal or family history may also play a role in your chances of developing bladder cancer. While it is not believed to be inherited, those who have family members with bladder cancer may be more susceptible to this type of cancer. It is very rare for bladder cancer to run in families.
Know the symptoms
When you know the symptoms of bladder cancer you can get tested and catch it early. Early detection reduces the risk of a bad prognosis. Bladder cancers caught early are curable in about 90 percent of the cases. If you experience any of the following symptoms contact your doctor immediately to assess your symptoms.
- Blood in the urine or hematuria is one symptom. When there is blood in the urine it can look cola colored, dark yellow or bright red. Blood clots may also be noticeable. In some cases the urine can appear normal and microscopic test is used to detect the blood.
- Frequent or painful urination, abdominal pain, back pain and urinary tract infections, loss of weight and loss of appetite are also symptoms of bladder cancer. Painful urination is called dysuria and can range from mild to severe. Frequent urination or having to get up several times a night to empty your bladder is also common symptom.
- A person may also experience a sensation of having to urinate even after just using the restroom.
Reducing the Risk
Drinking plenty of liquids, eating a healthy diet and not smoking will reduce your risk for developing bladder cancer. Avoiding contact with chemicals if possible or at least limiting your exposure can help. Some risk factors like gender and age cannot not be avoided, but you can practice a healthy lifestyle and see your doctor if symptoms develop.
WebMD: Smoking Increase Bladder Cancer Risks More than Thought
Robotic Oncology: Bladder Cancer Prevention