Symptoms of Bladder Cancer Stages
The symptoms of bladder cancer are very similar to those of other types. If you have any of these problems, you need to see your doctor right away to get the appropriate treatment.
Bladder cancer is considered in various stages depending on where it started in the bladder and its spread. The four steps include:-
(I) Stage one (Tis):
It means there are tumors in both inner lining layers of the bladder wall, but they haven’t grown into surrounding tissues. At this stage, cancerous lesions can be treated with surgery or chemotherapy, or radiation therapy.
A person whose condition is at stage one will most likely not need further treatment after their initial therapy unless blood vessel growth and lymph node involvement show up, which could occur later.
(II) Stage two (T1N0):
stage two is an advanced form of bladder cancer compared to the first type. It implies that there are cancers in both inner lining layers of the bladder wall, and they have grown into nearby tissues. However, this type of cancer does not affect nearby lymph nodes or blood vessels.
At stage two diagnosis, a patient may require a combination of chemotherapy and radiation therapy to treat their condition. In some cases, the doctor might suggest using surgery to remove all or part of the bladder before starting treatment with chemotherapy or radiation if it is an earlier case.
(III) Stage three (T2N0):
stage three refers to relatively advanced bladder cancer that has spread but remains confined within the bladder wall and does not affect nearby lymph nodes or blood vessels. It’s also considered an early type of bladder cancer in most cases.
At this stage, most people receive chemotherapy and radiation therapy to treat their conditions. Some patients with this condition might require surgery followed by either chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Additionally, they might need surgery and removal of all or part of the bladder during treatment depending on the severity of their conditions and whether they are earlier or later cases.
(IV) Stage four (T3N1M0):
This is defined as a very severe type of bladder cancer in most cases. In this case, the tumor has invaded nearby tissues and lymph nodes and is also referred to as a locally advanced type of bladder cancer.
In many instances, a patient’s condition doesn’t improve after treatment in this stage, followed by surgery or radiation therapy. This implies that the doctor might recommend a combination of chemotherapy and radiation therapy in most cases before starting treatment with surgery.
However, some doctors would recommend receiving palliative care without further treatment if conditions are categorized at this level. Both men and women are likely to experience symptoms related to bladder cancer stages 2-4, which include:-
• A need to urinate frequently, especially at night
• Blood in your urine
• Frequent pain during urination
• Pain in your lower back or side
• Loss of appetite and unintentional weight loss
• Nausea and vomiting
People with early bladder cancer do not experience any signs or symptoms. However, it would be best to ignore any of the above conditions. If you have been experiencing some of them for a while, talk to your doctor about being tested for this type of cancer.
stages of bladder cancer symptoms:
bladder cancer symptoms begin as a small growth or polyp found during a routine cystoscopy. This is the earliest stage of bladder cancer signs. There are no other symptoms as it is early and benign.
moving on to the next step of bladder cancer, the tumor starts growing:
the root cause of bladder cancer has not been identified. Still, some risk factors like smoking and family history of cancers may lead to tumors in the lower urinary tract (prostate, kidney, or bladder).
These tumors enlarge quickly and grow through layers that separate them from the outside tissues of the body like skin etc.; they invade various organs. Also, increasing blood supply spreads quickly throughout different body organs.
These are the most common bladder cancer symptoms. Some of them are:
pain in lower back or side of stomach discomfort while urinating trouble in starting urine flow bloody urine fever fatigue loss of appetite weight loss some other signs that appear with these are:-
Pain or burning during urination more frequent urge to urinate frequently difficult voiding frequently blood in the urine hematuria recurrence of urinary tract infection recurrent kidney infections increases in sedimentation rate high alkaline phosphate level underactive parathyroid gland anemia.
stage 1 bladder cancer treatment:
in the early stages, there is no need for any treatment except for removing bladder tumors like stage 1a.
While in stage 1b tumor has occurred and growing, it is still confined to the organ; hence complete resection or removing whole affected tissue may be done through surgery performed by a urologist. This is a common non-surgical way of getting rid of the disease. Though completely removing bladder cancer without leaving behind any remaining cells can’t be possible, and the chances are that it will reoccur again after some time.
radiotherapy, either neutron or proton-neutron beams, cause damage to the DNA inside the cell, stopping further horizontal growth of cancer cells. In contrast, proton beam radiotherapy penetrates the cancerous tissues and selectively destroys them.
this is a non-surgical treatment to get rid of bladder cancer in stages 2,3 & 4. chemotherapy:
pretreatment with chemotherapeutic agents containing platinum destroys the cancer cells before exposure to radiation therapy during radiotherapy.
In stage four bladder cancer, palliative care is necessary for relieving symptoms. Also, supportive treatments like blood transfusion may be required to treat anemia, which results due to side effects of chemotherapy or because of bone marrow damaged by tumor cells.
The Most common urinary catheterization methods use a Foley catheter inserted through the urethra into the bladder. This way remains in place for up to one week depending upon the type of catheter. Radiopaque markings allow urologists or doctors to see the route of the catheter.
stage 3 bladder cancer:
in this stage, though tumor causes discomfort and pain but has not exited the urinary bladder. Hence, removing all visible tumors with a margin of healthy tissue around them can be done through first surgery or radiation therapy if first is not feasible. The first treatment is also used as palliative care for relieving symptoms caused by bladder cancer.
Radiation damages cancer cells leading to death or stopping their growth depending upon the dose administered. During combined chemoradiation, chemotherapy is given decisively after radiotherapy to kill the remaining small cancerous cells left behind, along with killing cancer cells that might have spread elsewhere through the bloodstream.
Radiotherapy works on the entire body where cancer has spread rather than just on a single spot.
this is a kind of medicine whose intention is to target cancer cells throughout the body and ensure that they cannot spread further.
Combined chemoradiotherapy, also called chemoradiation therapy, can be used in stages 2, 3, & 4. this treatment involves combining chemotherapy with radiotherapy. It works on bladder cancer by destroying small and yet invisible tumors and helps in relieving symptoms. While curing bladder cancer through radiation therapy, some common side effects include loss of appetite, fatigue, weight loss, whicging healthy tissues, and cancerous ones.
stage 4 bladder cancer:
at this stage, the tumor is either in the pelvic or regional lymph nodes; however, it has not exited. Hence, if methods like surgery and radiotherapy fail to provide relief from symptoms, chemotherapy may treat bladder cancer.
An oncologist/gynecologist treats stage 4 bladder cancer using chemotherapy which mainly aims at destroying any remaining cells of the disease by creating an environment where they can’t grow and paving the way for developing new healthy cells during remission.