What is a Bladder Tumor?

The human urinary tract, including the bladder in pink at the bottom.
Surgery is typically used to remove a cancerous bladder tumor.
A cutaway of a female body showing the bladder in dark pink.
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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 14 August 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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A tumor can form in any part of the body, and the bladder is no exception. A bladder tumor forms when bladder cells overgrow, an event that causes a mass or lesion to form. Often, excess bladder cell reproduction creates a mass that is somewhat like a wart in the bladder.

Bladder tumors can be benign, which means they stay in one place and do not spread to other tissues. They can also be malignant, meaning they are cancerous and capable of moving to other parts of the body. It is malignant bladder tumors that are potentially life-threatening.

Certain types of people are more at risk of developing bladder tumors than others. For example, men are more likely to develop them than women, and they are most frequently diagnosed in those over the age of 50. In fact, only about one percent of bladder cancer is diagnosed in those who are under 40.

There are several symptoms of bladder tumors. A person with a bladder tumor may have blood in his urine, and when he has to urinate, he may feel an urgent need to do so. He may also have to urinate more often than in the past, and the amounts of urine he passes may be much smaller. Sometimes a person with a bladder tumor will experience back pain or discomfort in the abdomen.

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A cancerous bladder tumor is most treatable when it is caught early. Fortunately, most bladder cancers are diagnosed early on. Usually, a person with a cancerous bladder tumor will have surgery to remove it, and it is necessary to remove part of the bladder in some cases. In fact, it may be necessary to remove the whole bladder if the cancer has deepened far into its walls. In such a case, surgery is needed to provide a way for the patient's body to get rid of urine.

Sometimes chemotherapy is used in treating a malignant bladder tumor. Chemotherapy involves using drugs to kill cancerous cells. This treatment method may be used before or after surgery. Depending on the particulars of the case, immunotherapy may be an option. This involves using biological therapy to stimulate the body's immune system response and encourage it to fight the cancer.

Radiation therapy is another possible treatment for bladder cancer. For this treatment, radiation is aimed at cancerous bladder tumors, either from a machine located outside the body or from a machine that is actually placed within the bladder. In some cases, radiation therapy is used to shrink a bladder tumor before surgery, making it easier to extract. After surgery, it may be used to destroy any lingering cancer cells.

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anon295339
Post 4

What is the life expectancy if you have bladder cancer?

lightning88
Post 3

Metastatic bladder cancer is the one to really watch out for -- it can spread quickly throughout the body, and has a much grimmer prognosis.

The good news is, when caught early, most bladder tumors do not have metastases -- less than 5 percent, actually.

The moral? If you're at risk, screen early, and screen often.

pharmchick78
Post 2

@Charlie89 -- There really isn't that much of a difference in the risk factors for male bladder cancer and those for female bladder cancer, except perhaps the fact that simply being a male makes you three times more likely to have bladder cancer.

Other than that, risk factor for bladder cancer include tobacco use, exposure to chemicals, a family history of bladder cancer, and race.

Caucasians are the most likely to get bladder cancer, Asians are the least likely.

Anyone with these risk factors who is over the age of thirty should get regular bladder screenings, particularly if they start to show symptoms of tumors.

Charlie89
Post 1

What are some other risk factors for developing bladder cancer, particularly male bladder cancer?

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