Bladder cancer may seem like a less serious disease

posted on 07/31/2022 15:52


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Watch out for symptoms such as visible bleeding in urine, discomfort during urination, pain and burning, increased frequency or urge to go to the bathroom. What could be a simple urinary tract infection, benign prostate enlargement, overactive bladder, or kidney and bladder stones, is actually likely to be something much more serious. These signs are also linked to bladder cancer which, if not treated in time and in the right way, can lead to death.

“Not that it is the majority of cases, because they are generally much less serious illnesses. However, being aware of these symptoms and seeking a professional urgently is essential for the immediate start of treatment, if the existence of the tumor is confirmed”, warns the oncologist from the Cancer Center of Brasília (Cettro), Paulo Gustavo Bergerot.

The warning comes as there has been a significant drop in the number of diagnoses, mainly due to the pandemic, as many patients have stopped having routine checkups. There was an average reduction of 26% in the number of new cases, encompassing tumors of the kidney, prostate and bladder, compared to diagnoses made in 2019 and 2020.

According to Paulo Gustavo Bergerot, there was a great fear of the population to go to hospitals. “With this, there has been a significant decrease in the number of medical consultations, evaluations, examinations and consequently there has been a decrease in diagnoses”, underlines the doctor.

According to the National Cancer Institute José Alencar Gomes da Silva (Inca), the number of new cases of bladder cancer, estimated in 2022 for Brazil, is 7,590 cases in men and 3,050 in women.

July marks the awareness campaign for the early diagnosis and treatment of bladder cancer. The month is dedicated to raising awareness so that people, with or without a history of the disease in the family, begin to seek medical advice and follow-up, in addition to performing periodic examinations.

Risk factors
According to a report by Agência Brasil, the main risk factor for developing the disease is smoking, which accounts for around 50% of cases. The risk is directly related to the duration and intensity of smoking.

Cigarettes contain several chemical substances that are carcinogenic, that is, they induce the appearance of a tumor and in the specific case of the bladder, after inhaling these substances, they are absorbed by the lungs and will fall into the bloodstream and then be filtered by the kidney. . It will produce urine, as if contaminated with these chemicals, and then it will be stored in the bladder, which is a reservoir of urine. These chemicals will spend hours there in the bladder, causing aggression to the bladder surface, which will provide an environment for a tumor to grow in the patient.

Even people who don’t smoke but live with someone who smokes, called passive smoking, also have an increased risk of bladder cancer. Other associated factors, but to a lesser extent, are prolonged occupational exposure to chemicals called aromatic amines which can be carcinogenic (particularly in industries that process paints, dyes and petroleum derivatives) and the chronic bladder irritation, such as infections and stones.

The main prevention of bladder cancer is not to smoke. Workers, who are in daily contact with chemicals, must wear personal protective equipment for greater safety during work. Healthy lifestyle habits, good nutrition and physical exercise are also a form of prevention.

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