Each year, about 74,000 people in the United States receive a bladder cancer diagnosis. To accurately diagnose bladder cancer in the earliest stages, experienced urologists John Bertini MD, FACS, and James Harris, MD, at Gulf Coast Urology, offer on-site diagnostic testing, and customized treatments at their offices in Houston and Nassau Bay, Texas. If you have a family history of bladder cancer or symptoms like blood in your urine, schedule a consultation at Gulf Coast Urology today using the online booking feature or by calling the office.
Bladder cancer develops when abnormal cells in the bladder grow out of control and result in a tumor. Depending on the cells involved, you can develop different types of bladder cancer, including:
Squamous cell carcinoma is a rare type of bladder cancer that can develop due to chronic irritation in the bladder from an infection or frequent use of a catheter.
Adenocarcinoma is also rare and begins in the cells that are part of glands in the bladder that secretes mucus.
Urothelial carcinoma is the most common type of bladder cancer that affects the cells in the lining of the bladder. These cells expand and contract depending on whether your bladder is full or empty and can develop into tumors anywhere along the lining.
The most common causes of bladder cancer include tobacco use, radiation exposure, or exposure to certain chemicals. You may also be at an increased risk for bladder cancer if you have a family history of the disease or a personal history of other types of cancer.
While women can develop bladder cancer, the disease is more common in men.
One of the most common signs of bladder cancer is having blood in your urine. Blood may appear bright red or be a darker reddish-brown.
Other common symptoms of bladder cancer include:
Because a number of other medical conditions can cause these symptoms, it’s important that you schedule a diagnostic evaluation at Gulf Coast Urology as soon as possible.
To determine if your symptoms relate to bladder cancer, the Gulf Coast Urology medical team offers several on-site diagnostic tests.
First, they may request a sample of your urine to look for blood or cancer cells. You may also need a procedure known as a cystoscopy, which takes place in-office.
A cystoscopy involves the insertion of a cystoscope, a small tube with an attached lens, into your urethra. This lens allows your Gulf Coast Urology physician a closer look at the inside of your bladder to identify abnormal cells and tumors.
Treatment for bladder cancer depends on how advanced the cancer is. Initially, your Gulf Coast Urology provider may recommend surgery to remove cancerous tissue from the bladder.
You may need a transurethral resection of a bladder tumor (TURBT), the most common surgery for early-stage bladder cancer, to remove abnormal tissues or existing tumors. cystectomy is also a type of bladder cancer surgery that removes part or all of your bladder to prevent the spread of cancer.
You may also need chemotherapy to destroy all cancerous cells and prevent a recurrence of cancer.
The Gulf Coast Urology team also continues to monitor your bladder health following your treatment to ensure it’s functioning properly and that you have no other complications.
If you have blood in your urine or other symptoms of bladder cancer, schedule a consultation online or by calling Gulf Coast Urology today.