Bladder Cancer

Each year over 10,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with bladder cancer and is the fifth most common cancer. It is more common in men and rarely seen in patients under 40. The most common cause is smoking. It takes many years for the chemicals from cigarettes to cause bladder cancer. Exposure to certain chemicals used in dye factories and in industries working with rubber, textiles, paints and printing were linked to bladder cancer in the 1950s and 60s and have since been banned. However, it can take more than 25 years for the bladder cancer to develop. If you think you may have experienced this type of exposure, let your doctor know. Repeated (chronic) urinary infections and untreated bladder stones have also been linked with a less common type of bladder cancer called squamous cell cancer. Most bladder cancers develop in the lining of the bladder and can be managed successfully with minor surgery via the water-pipe (urethra). Following this kind of treatment the bladder will need regular inspections to check whether the cancer has returned. If the cancer has grown into the muscle of the bladder, this is more serious and will require removal of the bladder or chemotherapy and in some circumstances both treatments at once.

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