The bladder is a hollow organ in the lower part of the abdomen. It is shaped like a small balloon and has a muscular wall that allows it to get larger or smaller. The bladder stores urine until it is passed out of the body. Urine is the liquid waste that is made by the kidneys when they clean the blood. The urine passes from the two kidneys into the bladder through two tubes called ureters. When the bladder is emptied during urination, the urine goes from the bladder to the outside of the body through another tube called the urethra.
Bladder cancer accounts for approximately 70,000 new cases of cancer per year with approximately 15,000 deaths each year attributable to the disease. Bladder cancer is treated differently based on its location and depth of invasion into the bladder.
Most bladder cancer is confined to the inner surface of the bladder and is called superficial bladder cancer. However, in some cases the cancer that starts on the inner surface of the bladder will spread through the lining of the bladder and invade the muscle wall of the bladder, nearby organs or lymph nodes – this is called invasive bladder cancer.
Fortunately, two-thirds of the newly diagnosed bladder cancers occur only on the lining of the bladder (superficial bladder cancer) and can be treated effectively to save the bladder with minor procedures and medicines by the Doctors at Norman Urology Associates. In the less common cases where the cancer has invaded into the bladder muscle or lymph nodes (invasive bladder cancer) treatment unfortunately generally involves surgical removal of the bladder. Our Doctors at Norman Urology have the experience and expertise in treating all stages and forms of bladder cancer.
Blood in the urine (called hematuria) is usually the first sign of bladder cancer. Other symptoms which may not be recognized initially include the need to urinate frequently both day and night, and the inability to hold the urine once the urge to urinate occurs. A simple test called cystoscopy, performed in the clinics at Normal Urology can usually diagnose the cancer. Our physicians are experts in the diagnosis of bladder cancer as well as its treatment. In addition, they employ a number of methods to keep those with superficial bladder cancer from recurring. If you have seen blood in your urine please make an appointment with Norman Urology Today.