About the disease
Cancer of the bladder neck develops in the area between the bladder and the urethra. The bladder is a hollow organ that is located in the lower abdomen and is primarily responsible for storing the urine after it passes through the kidneys. Bladder cancer is very common. According to Mayo Clinic, approximately 68,000 million people are diagnosed with bladder cancer every year.
According to statistics, cancer of the bladder neck is more common in men than in women. It is also more common in people over the age of 60. Cancer of the bladder neck can develop as a secondary condition to prostate cancer in men, once the cancer is at the metastatic stage.
Cancer of the bladder neck usually develops in the urothelial cells, which line the inside of the bladder. These cells are also located in other organs of the urinary tract, meaning cancer can sometimes develop there, too. It is not known why cancer of the bladder neck starts to develop, but there are a few theories. A genetic predisposition is thought to play one of the most vital roles in causing malignant cells to appear, but an unhealthy lifestyle, bad dietary habits, obesity, frequent infections and smoking are also factors that put a person at risk.
In general, cancer of the bladder neck is diagnosed early on, since its symptoms are quick to appear. According to various data sources, 7 in 10 cases of bladder neck cancer are diagnosed in the early stages. With cancer, the most important step is a timely diagnosis and treatment, so it is a good idea to make an appointment with your doctor if you have any of the symptoms listed below.
- Blood in the urine
- Painful urination
- Frequent urination
- Pain in the pelvic and lower abdomen area
- Pain in the back
- During a general examination, the doctor will examine the patient’s pelvic floor. In women, this will be a transvaginal examination, while men will be examined via the rectum.
- Male patients may need to undergo a prostate examination, as problems with the prostate can also cause pain in the lower back.
- The doctor will ask the patient whether they have had any bladder infections or diseases of the urinary tract.
- A urinalysis can rule out the possibility of infections. It can also check that the kidneys are producing urine normally, without abnormal proteins in it.
- A blood test can also check for signs of inflammation and infection.
- Imaging tests, such as an MRI, CT scan or ultrasound, are helpful in examining the bladder and other structures of the urinary tract.
- A biopsy can also be performed, to examine a sample of suspicious tissue under the microscope.
- Transurethral resection of the tumor with plastic stents is a procedure that removes the tumor and prevents cancer from spreading.
- Radiation therapy can also shrink the tumor and prevent it from growing.
- Chemotherapy kills malignant cells using special agents.