Bladder cancers are caused by smoking. The other cause is exposure to occupational chemicals, fumes or dyes. These cancers are diagnosed mostly from blood visible in the urine. Further urine tests and Ultrasound or CT scans confirm the presence of a bladder growth or tumour.
Cystoscopy and resection using biopsy forceps or cautery loop is then required to clear to tumour and have it sent for tissue analysis.
Bladder cancer is either low grade or high grade. These terms refer to its “aggressiveness” potential when assessed under the microscope.
Further bladder immunotherapy or chemotherapy may be required.
All bladder cancer patients then undergo regular cystoscope checks of the bladder each year to rule out any recurrent tumours that can return and grow in the interim period after initial treatment.
High grade and muscle invasive bladder cancer can require systemic chemotherapy with complete removal of the bladder and its lymph nodes, which is called radical cystectomy and urinary diversion.