Carrollton urolgoist stresses that bladder cancer is the fourth leading cancer in men
(Created: Wednesday, June 4, 2008 12:00 PM CDT)
June 9-15 is National Men’s Health Week
U.S. scientists have discovered one of the reasons why bladder cancer is so much more prevalent in men than women, according to a recent study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center pointed to a molecular receptor or protein that is much more active in men than women. This protein plays a role in the development of the disease. The finding could open the door to new types of treatment with the disease. The study showed that the androgen receptor, which is central to the action of testosterone and other hormones that are much more plentiful in men than women, appears to play a key role in the disease.
But there have never been any marathons to raise money to find a cure for the disease or celebrities raising its profile even though bladder cancer has become the fourth leading type of cancer in men.
''The awareness isn't there, but it should be,'' said Dr. Frederick Leach, a urologic oncologist at Trinity Medical Center in Carrollton. ''There are very few patient advocacy groups and no strong voices for getting research dollars.''
When caught early, bladder cancer can be treated with minor surgery, with a survival rate of 94 percent. But once it has spread to surrounding organs, the main treatment is removal of the bladder, which frequently causes impotence and incontinence and lowers the survival rate to 49 percent.
''The typical scenario is that a doctor mistakes the symptoms of bladder cancer, such as blood in the urine and burning while urinating, for an infection of the prostate,'' Dr. Leach said.
It is more than three times as common in men as in women, and cigarette smoking, according to the National Cancer Institute, causes more than half of all deaths from bladder cancer. That occurs when carcinogens from smoke build up in the urine after being filtered out of the blood by the kidneys, and then damage the cells lining the bladder.
There are no screening tests for bladder cancer. The gold-standard diagnostic test is cystoscopy, in which a fiber-optic scope is inserted into the bladder.
When the cancer is diagnosed before it has spread, it can often be removed with the bladder left intact. But when the cancer is distributed throughout the bladder or has invaded muscle and fat tissue outside it, the bladder is usually removed.
“Fortunately urologist can now perform reconstructive bladder surgery if the whole bladder has to be removed,” said Dr. Leach. “Several types of reconstructive surgery can be performed successfully, depending on your medical situation and personal preferences.”
Doctors say avoiding tobacco smoke is the most important step to reduce the risk. The American Cancer Society also recommends drinking several glasses of water or other nonalcoholic beverages a day. In a recent study, people who drank 11 cups a day cut their risk by half, compared with people who drank 6 cups. Researchers theorize ink that extra fluids reduce the bladder's exposure to cancer cells in the urine.
In the news it is almost a joke that its even listed as a cancer at all, HOW MANY KINDS OF CANCER HAVE YOU SEEN ON A LIST OF TYPES OF CANCER AND BLADDER CANCER ISNT EVEN ON THE LIST, really most people dont even know of such a thing until it strikes close to home. :'(