While a woman’s chances of developing bladder cancer are only about 1 in 89, the chances for men are higher, at about 1 in 27. And while bladder cancer is often asymptomatic, there are a number of signs that may or may not present along with the disease. But how is bladder cancer diagnosed, and what are possible treatment options?
Signs of bladder cancer are typically looked for using cystoscopies, a process that involves inserting a narrow tube–called a cystoscope–into your urethra. Cystoscopes have small lens at the end of them, which permits doctors to take a good look at your bladder and urethra. Your doctor may also take a biopsy of any suspicious masses during the procedure. Other diagnostic tools include urine cytology, or looking at a urine sample under a microscope, as well as imaging tests such as CT urograms or retrograde pyelogram, which involve X-rays to look at bodily structures.
The Mayo Clinic lists various different treatment approaches for bladder cancer, which vary on a case-by-case basis. Your treatment plan may include:
- Immunotherapy to induce the body’s own immune system to attack cancerous cells
- Surgery to excise cancerous tissue
- Reconstruction to create a new exit for urine if the bladder is surgically removed
- Intravesical chemotherapy to treat tumors confined to the bladder lining that are highly likely to return or progress to more serious stages
- Systemic chemotherapy to increase curative chances for individuals having to surgically remove the bladder, or for individuals who don’t qualify for surgery
- Radiation therapy to destroy cancer cells, often in those who don’t qualify for surgery or don’t wish to undergo it.
Your doctor will determine which treatment–or combination of a few treatments–is best for you. The Ezra torso and full-body scans may find bladder cancer in your body; you can learn more about our pricing plans here.