Everyone associates cigarette smoking with lung cancer. But 47% of all cases of bladder cancer also come from smoking tobacco products. The skilled team at Pasadena Urological Medical Group provides comprehensive treatment for all stages of bladder cancer, including surgery, bladder reconstruction, and ongoing surveillance to catch recurrent cancer at the earliest possible stage. If you notice blood in your urine or have a hard time urinating, call the office in Pasadena, California, or book an appointment online today.
Bladder cancer develops when cells in the bladder’s inner lining grow uncontrollably. Their rapid growth becomes a cancerous tumor.
If the tumor stays in the lining, it’s called non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC). The cancer can also spread from the lining into the bladder’s muscular wall and from there to other parts of your body.
In most cases, bladder cancer doesn’t run in families. The cells mutate over the course of your lifetime. The top risk factor is cigarette smoking. If you smoke, you’re 4-7 times more likely to get bladder cancer compared with nonsmokers.
The signs and symptoms of bladder cancer include:
Many of these symptoms may signal other potential problems, such as benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate), so it’s important to schedule an evaluation.
Pasadena Urological Medical Group runs numerous tests to diagnose bladder cancer. They perform urine tests, diagnostic imaging, cystoscopy (examining the inside of your bladder), and a biopsy, including 3D MRI/ultrasound fusion biopsies.
They treat all stages of bladder cancer with therapies such as:
Your provider uses a thin, flexible tube (catheter) to put medication into your bladder. One therapy, called Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) treatment, is a type of immunotherapy that attacks the cancer cells inside your bladder without affecting the rest of your body.
Your provider inserts a narrow cystoscope through the urethra and guides it into the bladder. They pass an instrument through the cystoscope and use either laser or electrical energy to remove the tumor.
If your tumor hasn’t spread into the muscular layer, TURBT can eliminate all of the cancer. They may refer you to a medical oncologist for chemotherapy or radiation therapy. These treatments eliminate any cancer cells that may still be in your body.
If the cancer spreads into the muscle layer, your provider performs a cystectomy to remove the bladder. They may also need to remove nearby tissues and organs, including the lymph nodes, prostate gland, or urethra, and in women, the uterus, fallopian tubes, or ovaries.
Bladder reconstruction involves several procedures to create a new way to store urine and urinate after removing your bladder.
NMIBC frequently recurs. Pasadena Urological Medical Group offers intensive surveillance — regular cystoscopy and urine testing — to watch for the earliest signs of a problem.
If you have any bladder cancer symptoms, don’t wait to schedule an evaluation. Call Pasadena Urological Medical Group or book an appointment online today.