Bladder cancer is common in the United States, with an estimated 83,730 new cases expected to be diagnosed in 2021. At San Fernando Valley Urological Associates, the experienced urology specialists offer comprehensive diagnostic testing and screening services for bladder cancer. The team also customizes bladder cancer treatment to include non-surgical therapies like radiation and minimally invasive surgery to remove cancer cells. Schedule a bladder cancer consultation online today or call the Tarzana or West Hills, California, office.
Bladder cancer starts with the cells that line the bladder, the organ that stores urine.
The cells multiply rapidly, forming a tumor. These abnormal cells can break away and spread to other parts of your body.
Your risk for developing bladder cancer increases if you have a history of other cancers or a history of smoking. Men are diagnosed with bladder cancer more often than women, especially men over 55.
A hallmark symptom of bladder cancer is blood in the urine which can be microscopic (invisible to naked eye) or visible, which is referred to as gross hematuria, even if it occurs only once and then resolves spontaneously. However, blood in the urine is also a common symptom of many conditions, including urinary tract infections and kidney stones. Other symptoms of bladder cancer include more frequent urination and pain during urination. The risk of having bladder cancer exponentially increases with a history of smoking.
If you have pain when urinating or blood in your urine, you should schedule a diagnostic evaluation for bladder cancer with the San Fernando Valley Urological Associates team.
The team can determine if you have blood in your urine, even if you can’t see it. They offer other diagnostic tests to confirm or rule out cancer.
American Urological Association (AUA) guidelines recommend a workup that includes imaging, such as a CT scan and cystoscopy, once you meet the criteria set forth by an expert panel. To get a closer look at your bladder, the San Fernando Valley Urological Associates team performs cystoscopy after a thorough evaluation deems you meet the criteria set forth by AUA and your symptoms. During this procedure, your physician inserts a narrow tube (cystoscope) through your urethra. The scope’s lens allows your provider to view the inside of your urethra and bladder.
You might also need diagnostic imaging, like a computed tomography (CT) scan urogram, or a biopsy. A biopsy takes a tissue sample from inside your bladder to check for cancerous cells. If cancer is found, the biopsy can help determine how advanced it is.
How your bladder cancer is treated will depend on how advanced the cancer is, your age, and your existing health.
The San Fernando Valley Urological Associates team will design a treatment plan that focuses on relieving your symptoms and preventing the cancer’s spread.
Treatments they could recommend for bladder cancer include:
The team also provides follow-up care to ensure that you remain cancer-free and healthy in the months after your treatment. You might need to undergo preventive screenings to identify new cancer cell growth in the earliest stages.
To schedule a consultation to discuss treating bladder cancer, call the San Fernando Valley Urological Associates office nearest you today or book an appointment online.