CIGARETTES CAUSE BLADDER CANCER
DEC 21, 2018 3.17 PM
Most people don't realise that cigarette smoking is one of the most important risk factors for developing bladder cancer. Smokers are at least four times more likely to develop bladder cancer than non-smokers.
Although the effects of cigarette smoke toxins entering your body are widely publicised, too little attention has been given to how those toxins make their way out.
"Chemical substances in cigarettes gets absorbed in the body and is filtered out through the urinary tract," says Dr S A Balan, Consultant Urologist, Pantai Hospital Kuala Lumpur.
“The bladder is like a balloon; when you pass urine it empties and when it’s filled up it acts as a tank. However, the bladder mucosa gets damaged from being exposed to urine in the bladder that has very high concentrations of toxins from cigarette smoke.
Types of tumors that affect the bladder mucosa
There are two types of tumors that can affect the bladder mucosa which is also known as the waterproof lining of the bladder. These are the transitional cell carcinomas (TCCs) - the most common type that causes bladder cancer and the other - squamous cell carcinoma.
"Bladder cancer can spread by growing into and through different layers of the bladder, from the inside of the bladder outwards. TCCs can also invade the bladder muscle into surrounding organs," says Balan.
Symptoms to look out for
Younger generation or even older people who have been smoking for a very long time would typically present with painless hematuria (blood in the urine).
“Most people have this misconception that painful hematuria - passing urine with blood is more painful and dangerous. This is wrong. It is painless hematuria that you need to look out for as it is more dangerous that the painful one."
Symptoms include recurrent urinary tract infections or excessive bleeding that may lead to urinary retention. In such cases, the urologist would carry out a visual examination of the urethra and the bladder lining using a cystoscopy.
The culture of colourism: The obsession with lighter skin tones driving opportunities in the skin lighteners market
Arson, animal cruelty and lack of remorse - traits of personality disorders to look out for in a person
Astrazeneca signs MoA with InvestKL to improve access to healthcare, explore digital transformation in the management of diseases
Keytruda with chemotherapy to be the first line of treatment for patients with advanced lung cancer