We at University Cancer Centers have created this blog to answer all these questions. The context of this blog is as follows:
- What is Bladder cancer?
- Types of Bladder cancer.
- Bladder cancer radiation therapy.
- When is RT used?
- How is RT given?
- Side effects of Radiation therapy.
If you are looking for the best treatment for Bladder cancer, visit University Cancer Centers. We have diverse treatment methods, including RT, to cure such cancers. Our professional will diagnose your problems and provide effective treatment for your condition.
What Is Bladder Cancer?
The excess growth of cells that are building blocks of the urinary bladder is the cause of Bladder cancer. As these cancer cells start developing, they form a tumor that, with time, spreads to other parts of our body.
The bladder is known as a hollow organ located in the lower pelvis. It consists of flexible and muscular walls which ease the movement of urine in the body. The primary job of the bladder is to store urine. Urine is a liquid waste produced by our kidneys and is carried to the bladder through the ureters. Upon urination, these bladder muscles contract, causing urine to force out through the urethra.
The Different Types Of Bladder Cancer?
There are five types of bladder cancer that are as follows:
1. Urothelial Carcinoma Or Transitional Cell Carcinoma
Urothelial carcinoma, commonly referred to as transitional cell carcinoma, is the most common type of bladder cancer. If a person has bladder cancer, there are very high chances that they will have this type. These cancers start progressing from the urothelial cells.
There is a high probability of tumor formation in these places for people with bladder cancer. For such reason, every urinary tract must get checked for tumors.
There is only a probability of 1% that the cancer is adenocarcinomas. These cancer cells are quite similar to gland-forming cells that occur in colon cancers. Almost all bladder adenocarcinomas are invasive.
3. Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Around 1 to 2 percent of bladder cancers in the US are squamous cell carcinomas. The cancer cells are much similar to cells present on the skin surface. Almost all bladder squamous cell carcinomas are invasive.
Sarcomas start forming from the bladder muscle cells and are very rare.
5. Small Cell Carcinoma
There is less than a 1% chance that your bladder cancer is small-cell carcinomas. They start their growth in the cells known as neuroendocrine cells, which are very similar to nerve-like cells.
The growth of these cancer cells is very quick. They are often treated with the help of chemotherapy.
Bladder Cancer Radiation Therapy
Radiation therapy or radiotherapy is a popular treatment method for bladder cancer. RT uses precise and focused high-energy beams that assist in eliminating cancer cells.
An oncologist can deliver radiation therapy in various forms. These forms can vary based on the cancer type, tumor location in the body, and how much it has spread.
You may receive Bladder cancer radiation therapy before, during, or even after the surgery.
When Is Bladder Cancer Radiation Therapy Used?
Radiation therapy for bladder cancer is used for various reasons. A few of them are listed below-
- It is used as one of the treatment parts for a few early-stage bladder cancers. RT is used after surgery which fails to remove the entire bladder like TURBT.
- RT is considered a primary treatment method for individuals with earlier-stage cancers. Especially who can’t go through treatment methods such as chemotherapy or surgery.
- Also advised for people who want to avoid cystectomy. It is a surgery involving the removal of the bladder.
- Oncologists use RT for treating people who have advanced bladder cancer (cancer spread outside the bladder)
- RT is used to treat and prevent symptoms of advanced bladder cancer.
Bladder cancer radiation therapy is often accompanied by chemotherapy. Chemotherapy aid in enhancing radiation effectiveness. The whole process is generally called chemoradiation.
How Is Bladder Cancer Radiation Therapy Given To Patients?
The most common radiation therapy used for the treatment of bladder cancer is known as external beam radiation therapy. This kind of treatment targets radiation from the source present outside a person’s body on cancer.
Before starting the bladder cancer radiation therapy, the radiation team will take out the precise measurement to search for the exact angles. This will aid in aiming the radiation beams and the proper radiation dosages.
The entire planning session is commonly known as “simulation.” It usually includes obtaining image tests of patients, which consist of MRI or CT scans. With these scans, a doctor can easily map the location of the tumor inside your body. The doctor will ask you to empty your bladder before each treatment and simulation.
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This treatment may sound like an X-ray to many, but the radiation is actually stronger. Also, you don’t feel any pain during bladder cancer radiation therapy. The time period of each treatment lasts for only a few minutes. However, shifting a patient to the treatment place generally takes a while.
On a normal basis, bladder cancer radiation therapy is given around five days a week. This therapy process runs for several weeks.
What Are The Possible Side Effects Of Bladder Cancer Radiation Therapy?
The general side effects of bladder cancer radiation therapy are based on the amount of dosage and the targeted treatment area. These side effects can worsen when chemo accompanies radiation therapy.
The side effects of radiation therapy for bladder cancer may include:
- The changes in the skin areas where radiation therapy is being used range from redness to peeling and blistering.
- Vomiting and Nausea.
- Bladder symptoms such as burning or pain during urination, continuous feeling of need to go, or blood coming out during urination.
- Blood in urine and stool.
- Low blood counts lead to tiredness, easy bleeding or bruising, or a risen risk of infection.
These symptoms that are caused by bladder cancer radiation therapy don’t last for a long period, and you can feel relief soon after the treatment.
While this is true for most people, some individuals can face long-term problems from bladder cancer radiation therapy. For example:
- In a few people, radiation therapy for bladder cancer can cause problems such as incontinence laterwards.
- Radiation may harm the lining of the bladder. The problem is known as radiation cystitis and can cause long-term issues like painful urination and blood in the urine.
- Men may develop erection problems due to the nearby blood vessels and nerves being damaged by the bladder cancer radiation therapy.
Contact your health care team if you suffer any side effects from radiation therapy for bladder cancer. As these experts have many ways to ease these symptoms, you can easily depend on them.
Bladder cancer radiation therapy is considered one of the most effective methods to cure this cancer. Although it has some side effects, you can overcome them quickly with proper care and guidance. There are significant chances you will recover completely using this treatment method.
Are you searching for the best treatment method for bladder cancer? At University Cancer Centers, we offer the most effective treatment methods for all types of cancers. Our professional doctors are dedicated and care for their patients. We have a successful history of treating hundreds of cancer patients in the US. You can contact us through our website. Get the best radiation therapy right here!