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Bladder Cancer – What You Need To Know

Alejandro Miranda-Sousa, M.D.

Bladder Cancer - What You Need To KnowBladder cancer is extremely common.  In fact, it is the 5th most prevalent cancer, and it’s unfortunately on the rise.  There are several risk factors associated with bladder cancer, although anyone can be affected by its devastating diagnosis.

Bladder Cancer Risk Factors
• History of smoking (smoking causes 4-7 time increase in the risk)
• Obesity
• Processed foods
• Chemicals and Toxins  (fertilizers, insect repellants, hair salon fumes, rubber, paints fungicides, etc.)
• Caucasian
• 55 plus years of age
• Chronic UTI (urinary Tract Infections)
• Prior kidney stones
• Bladder infections
• Certain diabetic medications

Bladder Cancer Symptoms
• Blood in urine (orange, pink or red)
• Frequent urination
• Changes in urine flow
• Urinating several times per night
• Painful urination
• Pain in kidney areas of lower back
• Swollen legs
• Painful pressure in pelvic and rectal region
• Sensations of urination with little to no elimination

If you have any of the symptoms listed above, it’s imperative that you see a urologist immediately.  Bladder cancer can be particularly life-threatening if not caught in the early stages.

What is Bladder Cancer and How is it Treated?
Bladder cancer usually forms in the urothelium layer of the bladder.  Upon diagnostic testing, tumors are discovered in the bladder.  Most of these tumors are considered low-grade, which is, fortunately, easier to treat.  The low-grade tumors take on the appearance of a small broccoli floret and are typically cut out and removed completely.

In the office, Dr. Miranda-Sousa uses a cystoscopy, which is a flexible scope that is inserted into the bladder to check for any signs of cancer.  If the tumors are in a low stage, non-papillary, and they haven’t grown through the bladder wall, they can usually be removed fairly easily.

CT scans and ultrasound technology are other viable imaging systems to show intricate detail of the bladder and the type of cancer that has invaded the patient’s urothelium or beyond.

Chemotherapy may be necessary to kill any residual roots or cancer cells that could not be removed during the procedure.  Immunotherapy shows promising results in warding off recurring types of cancer.  Individuals that have had bladder cancer have a 50% chance of recurrence.  Therefore, it’s imperative that patients are monitored every three months for up to two years after their initial diagnosis and treatment.

Staying Healthy
There are certain things that people can do to prevent bladder cancer.  The number one thing is to stop smoking now.  Because smoking is one of the most hazardous risk factors for bladder cancer, along with several other diseases and cardiovascular disorders, it’s critical to stop smoking at once.  The second thing is to protect yourself from chemicals and toxins.  If you work in a factory or other business that has high levels of fumes, please wear protective gear at all times.  Changing your diet to a more organic chemical free lifestyle is very helpful in warding off bladder cancer.  It’s also important to drink plenty of water and to eat a diet rich in vegetables and fruits.  Incorporating a nutrition plan like the Mediterranean diet is a good idea for many different health reasons.

The urologists at Urology Experts are highly-qualified, skilled experts in the area of urinary and bladder disorders, pelvic floor prolapse, prostate cancer, along with many other related disorders.  Dr. Alejandro Miranda-Sousa is the author and co-author of multiple research and clinical peer-reviewed medical articles. He received the Best Abstract Award from the American Urological Association in 2007 and is Fellowship Trained in Urodynamics and Neurourology.  Dr. Sousa and his staff are ready to answer any of your urological questions and concerns, as they treat all of their patients with the utmost of care.

To make an appointment, please call
239-226-2727, or visit their website at urologyexperts.com.

Fort Myers
8931 Colonial Center Dr.
Suite 100 A
Fort Myers, FL 33905

Bonita Springs/Estero
3501 Health Center Blvd.
Suite 2420
Bonita Springs, FL 34135

Cape Coral
2721 Del Prado Blvd.
Suite 220
Cape Coral, FL 33904

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