Bladder Cancer Awareness Month – Prevention and Early Detection
Bladder Cancer Awareness Month is observed every year in the month of May to raise awareness about bladder cancer, its causes, symptoms, and available treatments. Bladder cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the cells of the bladder, which is a hollow organ in the lower abdomen that stores urine until it is passed out of the body.
During Bladder Cancer Awareness Month, Uhapo works to educate the public about bladder cancer risks factors, such as smoking, exposure to certain chemicals, and family history. We also promote early detection through regular check-ups and screenings, as early diagnosis can improve the chances of successful treatment.
We believe, Bladder Cancer Awareness Month is an excellent opportunity to support those who have been affected by bladder cancer, including patients, survivors, and their families. We also provide information and resources to patients by navigating to them the challenges of the disease and effective treatment options.
Types of Bladder Cancer
There are several types of bladder cancer, including –
- Transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) or urothelial carcinoma – This is the most common type of bladder cancer, accounting for about 90% of all cases. It develops in the cells that line the inside of the bladder.
- Squamous cell carcinoma – This type of bladder cancer develops in the thin, flat cells that line the bladder after chronic irritation or inflammation.
- Adenocarcinoma – This rare type of bladder cancer develops in the cells that produce mucus in the bladder lining.
The risks of bladder cancer are not yet known, but there are some risk factors that can increase the chances of developing bladder cancer including –
- Smoking or tobacco use – Smoking is the most significant risk factor for bladder cancer, as it exposes the bladder to harmful chemicals.
- Exposure to certain chemicals – Exposure to chemicals such as arsenic, benzidine, and cyclophosphamide, which are used in some industries, can increase the risk of bladder cancer.
- Age – Bladder cancer is more common in people over the age of 55.
- Gender – Men are more likely to develop bladder cancer than women.
- Family history – Bladder cancer can run in families, and having a close relative with the disease increases the risk.
- Chronic bladder inflammation – Chronic infections or inflammation of the bladder, such as from catheter use, may increase the risk of bladder cancer.
- Radiation exposure – People who have undergone radiation treatment for other cancers in the pelvic region may have an increased risk of bladder cancer.
Having one or more of these risk factors does not necessarily mean that a person will develop bladder cancer, and some people without any known risk factors can still develop bladder cancer. Regular check-ups and screenings can help detect bladder cancer early and improve the chances of successful treatment.
Signs and Symptoms
Bladder cancer often causes no symptoms in its early stages. However, as the cancer grows and spreads, it can cause a range of signs and symptoms, which may include –
- Blood in the urine – This is the most common symptom of bladder cancer. It may appear as pink, red, or brown urine.
- Painful or frequent urination – Bladder cancer can cause changes in urination, such as a burning sensation or an increased frequency of urination.
- Urinary urgency – Bladder cancer can also cause a sudden urge to urinate that may be difficult to control.
- Pain in the lower back or abdomen – Bladder cancer can cause pain in the lower back or abdomen, especially if the cancer has spread to nearby tissues or organs.
- Unexplained weight loss – Advanced bladder cancer can cause unexplained weight loss and fatigue.
These symptoms may also be caused by other conditions, such as urinary tract infections or kidney stones. However, if any of these symptoms persist or worsen over time, it is important to see a healthcare professional for evaluation and possible testing. Early detection and treatment of bladder cancer can improve the chances of successful treatment and recovery.
Testimonial of a Bladder Cancer Survivor
My name is Shaurya, and I’ve been diagnosed with bladder cancer in my early 60s, which shocked me and my whole family. I had blood in my urine and was experiencing some discomfort in my bladder, but I never suspected it was cancer.
After some diagnostic tests and consultations, my oncology doctor stated that I’m diagnosed with Stage 1 Bladder cancer and she advised undergoing surgery for the removal of the bladder tumor.
It was a challenging time of my life, but I was lucky to have a supportive family and a healthcare team throughout my journey.
Later, after the surgery, I underwent several rounds of chemotherapy to ensure that all the cancer cells were eliminated. The procedures were not so easy to cope with but I focused on my recovery and took things one day at a time. I also made some lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking, adopting a healthier diet, and doing an exercise routine.
It took me a whole lot of months to fully recover from cancer. Today, I am cancer-free and grateful for every day that I get to spend with my family and friends. Although the road may not have been easy for me, I want fellow bladder cancer survivors to know they are not on this path alone. You can beat this illness and lead a happy life with the proper care, right treatment, and support.
My cancer experience has taught me the value of early detection and regular check-ups. So, I hope with this I can raise awareness to the masses about bladder cncer by encouraging others to seek medical attention if they notice any changes or symptoms of cancer.
Surviving Brain Cancer: Muskan’s Story of Resilience and Hope
My name is Muskan, and I’ve been diagnosed with brain cancer at the age of 36 years. It was a shock to me and my family. I had no history of cancer in my family, and I was living a healthy lifestyle. But cancer doesn’t discriminate. It can happen to anyone at any time.
My treatment involved a series of expensive procedures such as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. It was a tough journey, but I was very fortunate to have a great support system of family, friends, and medical professionals who helped me every step of the way. I learned that cancer not only affects the patient but also their families. At every step of the journey, my husband, parents, and siblings were there for me. They were my pillars of strength.
During treatment, I had my bad days, but I also had some worst days through which I barely coped with. But I tried to stay positive and focused on my recovery. I knew that my family needed me, and I was determined to fight cancer with all my strength. My doctors told me that staying active and engaging in enjoyable activities will help me deal with the negative effects of treatment. So, I tried experimenting with things such as making artifacts and writing my cancer journal to inspire future generations.
Today, I am doing well and always looking forward to savoring each moment. It has been five years since my diagnosis, and I am grateful for every day. Cancer has changed my perspective on life. My journey with cancer has taught me the value of hope, faith, and love. I encourage everyone to get regular check-ups and screenings because early detection can save lives.