Lesson 4 Bladder Cancer

  • The most important facts about blad cancer and its therapy
  • The most important risk factor of blad cancer
  • The most important information on prevention of  blad cancer

Source: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10815690/

Bladder cancer accounts for about 3% of all cancers and, in urology, is second only to prostate cancer. It is most common between the ages of 60 and 70 and is three times more common in men than in women.

At diagnosis, bladder cancer is superficial in 85% of cases and infiltrative in 15%. The five-year survival rate in Europe is higher for men (European age-standardized 5-year relative survival 69%) than for women (66%).

Bladder Cancer increasing risks’ factors:

  • Cigarette smoking is the main risk factor for bladder cancer, followed by chronic exposure to aromatic amines and nitrosamines (common in textile, dye, rubber and leather workers), radiotherapy involving the pelvis, drugs such as cyclophosphamide and ifosfamide, and infection with parasites such as Bilharzia and Schistosoma haematobium, which are widespread in some Middle Eastern countries (Egypt in particular).
  • Diet also plays a role: fried food and high fat consumption are associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer.
  • Finally, there is evidence for a genetic component as a predisposing factor.

The symptoms of bladder cancer are common to other diseases of the urinary tract.  Frequent symptoms are blood in the urine (haematuria) and the formation of clots, a burning sensation in the bladder when the abdomen is squeezed, difficulty and pain when urinating, and increased susceptibility to infections. As the disease progresses, these complaints can become important.

Bladder cancer can spread locally and distantly by lymphatics, first to the lymph nodes and then via the bloodstream to the lungs, liver and bones.

Its behaviour is not always predictable in terms of relapse, aggressiveness and metastasis.

The treatment approach today, however, involves combined interventions, which may involve surgery, chemotherapy or immunotherapy and radiotherapy in various combinations

Survival of patients with bladder cancer is increased by treating them early with immunotherapy (Atezolizumab) along with chemotherapy

There are currently no scientifically reliable screening programmes or early detection methods. Even urinary cytology can give false negatives if tumour cells are difficult to distinguish from healthy cells. 

Preventive measures linked to lifestyle habits should therefore be implemented, consisting of smoking cessation, a healthy, balanced diet and surveillance of workers at risk.