Although relatively rare, the recent diagnosis of presenters Celso Portioli and Roberto Justos highlights the importance of bladder cancer screening.
The good news is that the tumor is rare and has a high chance of recovery if diagnosed early. It is estimated that there were about ten thousand new cases in the 2020-2022 triennium, compared to 65 thousand new cases of prostate tumors, according to data from the National Cancer Institute (Inca). The patients are mostly white men over the age of 60.
In 90% of cases, bladder cancer affects the cells that line the internal organ, the so-called transitional cell tumors or urotheliomas. Smoking behind half of the records.
“Smokers are two to four times more likely to develop this cancer,” explains urologist Leonardo Borges, MD, of the Israelta Albert Einstein Hospital. Another 20% of these diagnoses are related to exposure to aromatic amines and chemicals found in industries such as paints, dyes, and rubber, among others.
Types of Tumors and Their Treatment
Other types of bladder tumors, such as squamous cell carcinomas, are associated with chronic irritation from bladder stones, catheters, chronic infections, and adenocarcinomas. However, these species are rare.
Because it is not a common cancer, there is no need for regular exams, such as mammograms or prostate exams. “But in routine exams, the doctor tends to order an ultrasound that really looks at the bladder,” Burgess says.
Bladder cancer usually causes symptoms at first, and in most cases (70%) it is superficial and does not spread. It causes bleeding even in the early stages. Therefore, if symptoms such as pain or bleeding appear, you should see a doctor.
“Although there are other possible causes, even benign, the suspicion of cancer must be considered,” explains the specialist. The tumor can be identified by urine and imaging tests.
Treatment is by laparoscopic surgery through the urethra. To prevent the disease from coming back, medicines are applied inside the bladder, such as chemotherapy and immunotherapy, in these cases BCG is used, a bacillus capable of stimulating the body’s reaction to fight cancer cells. When initially detected, the probability of survival is greater than 80%.