Archive for the ‘Bladder Cancer’ Category

What We Know About Bladder Cancer Today

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

Frank Sinatra. Jaime Escalante (Stand and Deliver). Dominick Dunne. Hubert Humphrey. What do these men have in common? All were over 40, several smoked cigarettes, and all of them died as they struggled with bladder cancer.

Of course, we know so much more about this disease today than ever before, including risk factors for bladder cancer like smoking, age and gender. And, whatever the cause of the bladder cancer, we understand from the experts that early diagnosis is, front and center, key to successful treatment of bladder cancer today.

What is Bladder Cancer?

According to medical experts at the National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health, bladder cancer is a cancerous tumor that’s found in the bladder which is the organ that holds and contains urine. The symptoms of bladder cancer can oftentimes be the same symptoms for other conditions. They include blood in the urine, urinary urgency and frequency, and painful urination. Other symptoms include stomach pain, fatigue, weight loss, and urinary incontinence, among others. If you experience these symptoms, you are advised to consult a health care professional for diagnosis and treatment.

What Causes Bladder Cancer?

Experts don’t know exactly what causes bladder cancer. In this country, the United States, bladder cancer usually starts in the cells that line the bladder or “transitional cells.” In other countries, bladder cancer may begin in a different way, and be far more extensive or invasive. With bladder cancer, some tumors in the bladder are more difficult to treat than others, depending upon their shape, appearance, and invasiveness.

Bladder Cancer and Contributing Factors

What experts do know is that there are several factors that contribute to the development of bladder cancer or increase your risk of developing bladder cancer. These include:

Tobacco Use. Cigarette smoking seems to increase the risk of developing bladder cancer significantly. Experts indicate that half of all cases of bladder cancers in men and one-third of all bladder cancers in women are likely caused by smoking tobacco.

Chemical Exposure. Experts suggest that bladder cancer is likely caused by exposure to cancer-causing agents and chemicals called, “carcinogens.” These include dyes and pesticides.

Radiation and Chemotherapy. Some women who receive radiation therapy, according to medical experts, are at increased risk for bladder cancer, as are some patients who have been treated with the chemotherapy drug cyclophosphamide (or Cytoxan).

Chronic Bladder Infection. An aggressive form of bladder infection has been shown to increase risk of bladder cancer.

Parasites. Outside the United States, some parasites have been shown to increase the risk of bladder cancer. Foreign nationals and globetrotters need to be especially careful in protecting themselves against the possibility of infection.

Risk Factors for Developing Bladder Cancer

According to the National Cancer Institute, studies indicate there are several risk factors for bladder cancer, among them:

Age. The risk of developing bladder cancer increases with age. Rarely, does bladder cancer present itself in patients under the age of 40 years.

Smoking. Tobacco is suspected of being a leading cause of bladder cancer. Smokers are generally three times more likely to develop bladder cancer than non-smokers.

Occupational Exposure and Hazards. Anyone working in industries or work settings where they are likely to handle chemicals is at increase risk of bladder cancer. This includes truck drivers, machinists, hairdressers, printers, and more.

Infections. Parasitic infections can increase your risk of developing bladder cancer down the line.

Gender. Men are more likely to develop bladder cancer than women. Experts suspect this is because of occupational exposure more than anything else.

Chlorine Exposure. The jury’s out on chlorine, but chlorine exposure is suspected of increasing risk of developing bladder cancer.

Use of Saccharin. The jury’s also out on Saccharin’s role in causing bladder cancer, but for many years this artificial sweetener has been shown to cause cancer in animals.

What If You Have Symptoms?

Early detection and treatment are critical components in fighting bladder cancer. If you have any of the symptoms described above, or have one or more of the risk factors, discuss these and other concerns with your doctor and health care professionals.

It is important to note that bladder cancer is highly treatable in its early stages, especially if has been confined to the bladder. Treatments include surgery, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and radiation therapy. Your doctor and clinical health care team are well-positioned to consult with you on these symptoms and, if needed, on your diagnosis and appropriate treatment options.


Bladder Cancer
Mayo Clinic

Bladder Cancer Treatment Overview

Bladder Cancer
National Cancer Institute, US National Institutes of Health

Medline Plus

What Causes Bladder Cancer?

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

Bladder cancer is characterized by the overgrowth of anomalous cells which cause cancerous masses or tumors in the bladder. If found and treated early, the individual can have a good outcome.

Causes of bladder cancer

As happens with most cancers, it is difficult to tell what the exact cause of bladder cancer is, but there are some factors which contribute in its development:

Smoking – Smoking is a huge factor; 50 percent of men who smoke are at risk for bladder cancer. Likewise, 30 percent of women who smoke are also at risk.

Chemical exposure at working place – Twenty-five percent of bladder cancer cases result from exposure to some kind of cancer-causing chemicals in the workplace. Workers at the highest risks for bladder cancer include aluminum workers, dye workers and leather workers. Other workers at risk for bladder cancer are those who work with pesticides, those who work in rubber factories and truck drivers.

Bladder infections – Chronic bladder infections could put you at risk for squamous cell bladder cancer. However, chronic bladder infections don’t put you at risk for transitional cell cancer in the bladder. Transitional cells are those which can expand and contract as the bladder fills and empties.

Chemotherapy and radiation – Women, having cervical cancer and undergoing chemotherapy and/or radiation treatment, may have a higher risk of developing bladder cancer.

Parasite infection – People having an infection of the schistosomiasis parasite have may also be at risk for bladder cancer. People who live or vacation in parts of Asia, Africa, South America and the West indies could come into contact with this parasite. The schistosomiasis parasite lives in snails and the water they live in. The parasite can live comfortably in the human gut and urinary tract; they can cause an abnormal growth of cells which can become cancerous.

Symptoms of bladder cancer

Some of the most common symptoms of bladder cancer can easily be mistaken for some other type of illness. The symptoms include:

Abdominal pain
Blood in the urine
Frequency of urination
Urgent need to urinate
Painful urination
Bone tenderness
Unexplained weight loss

If you are having any of these symptoms, it is important to report them to your doctor. The symptoms may not indicate bladder cancer, but you won’t know unless you let a medical professional examine you.

Diagnostic tests for bladder cancer

There are some diagnostic tests which can be performed to detect bladder cancer including:

Abdominal CT scan – A CT scan of the abdomen will allow the radiologist to see the structures there.

Biopsy of bladder – A small amount of tissue is taken from the bladder and studied under a microscope.

Cystoscopy – This procedure allows the doctor to look inside your bladder with a camera

Intravenous pyelogram – This is an X-ray taken with an ionizing (radioactive) contrast medium which allows the doctor to visualize the kidneys and bladder. If tumors are present the IV pyelogram will allow them to be visible.

Urinalysis and Urine cytology – A urinalysis will identify the types of cells in the urine, such as the different types of white blood cells and cells that have sloughed off from the lining of the bladder. Urine cytology might be done to identify specific cancerous changes in epithelial cells.

Treatment options for bladder cancer

Primary Stage (0 and 1) treatments – At these stages it may be necessary to surgically remove the tumor without removing the entire bladder. The patient will likely undergo chemotherapy treatments directly to the bladder.

Intermediate Stage (2 and 3) treatments – At these stages it may be necessary to surgically remove the bladder. Chemotherapy may be given first to reduce the size of the tumor prior to surgery. Chemo and radiation may be an option for patients who aren’t physically able to undergo surgery.

Last Stage (stage 4) treatments – Stage 4 bladder cancer is as bad as it gets. Surgery is not usually advisable; chemotherapy may or may not be given at this stage. The doctor and the patient should decide if chemotherapy would be advisable.

Types of therapies to treat bladder cancer

Chemotherapy – Chemotherapy can be given to stage 2 and 3 patients; chemo is often indicated before or after surgery to prevent the tumor from returning. Chemotherapy can be given as single drug or as different drug combinations, which may include: Carboplatin, Cyclophosphamide, Cisplatin, Docetaxel, Gemcitabine, Doxorubicin, Ifosfamide, Paclitaxel, Methotrexate and Vinblastine.

Immunotherapy – In immunotherapy, medicines are given to influence the patient’s immune system, so that the immune system can attack and kill the cancer cells. The immunotherapy vaccine, Bacille Calmette-Guerin vaccine (known as BCG), is administered via a Foley catheter straight into the bladder to treat bladder cancer.

Trans Urethral Resection of Bladder (TURB) – Bladder cancer of stage 0 or 1 can be treated through Trans Urethral Resection of Bladder (TURB). TURB is a surgical procedure, usually done under spinal or general anesthesia. Surgical instruments remove the tumor through the urethra.

Bladder Removal – People having bladder cancer of stage 2 or 3 will most likely have to undergo partial or total bladder removal. Patients having partial bladder or total bladder removal will receive chemotherapy after surgery to avoid cancer coming back.


The treatment for bladder cancer depends on the stage at which the tumor is in, the severity of symptoms, and the patient’s current state of health at the time.


Treatment of Bladder Cancer in Cats

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

Although bladder cancer in cats is uncommon, it does happen. No one is positive about why some cats develop bladder cancer, but there have been links between flea medication and lawn insecticides to bladder cancer in cats. There is also a link between bladder cancer and cyclophosphamide, a drug cats are given to treat immune disorders and cancer. Obese cats and female cats are at the highest risk for developing bladder cancer.

While you need to consult with your veterinarian to determine the most appropriate course of treatment, here’s a list of different ways bladder cancer in cats is usually treated.


Chemotherapy and the anti-inflammatory drug piroxicam are the standard treatment for bladder cancer in cats. Radiation can also be used as treatment, but it is usually not done except by referral specialists or in research facilities.


Because bladder cancer in cats takes the form of tumors that invade the bladder wall, surgery is most likely not a possibility. To remove the tumor or tumors would destroy the bladder itself. Surgery is only a possibility when the tumor is small and contained within the bladder.

Bladder cancer in cats can be tricky to diagnose, especially because the initial symptoms are exactly the same as other less serious and more common urinary tract problems. If the cancer is not detected early, the cat may also have tumors in other parts of the body that need to be surgically removed.

Alternative Medicine

Sadly, cats that are diagnosed with bladder cancer usually don’t live more than another year. In some, the cancer has progressed to the point where they only live another couple of weeks after diagnosis. Treatment can prolong a cat’s life or in some cases help the cat recover completely, but you should do everything you can to keep your cat comfortable in the meantime. My vet once told me after a particularly grim diagnosis, “It’s not about quantity of life; it’s about quality.”

Aside from whatever medical treatment your vet recommends, the best way to treat bladder cancer in cats is to make them as comfortable as possible, so their last days are as pain-free and happy as possible. Bladder cancer in cats can cause incredible discomfort, which you can imagine if you’ve ever had a severe urinary tract infection.

Homeopathic remedies can help alleviate some of the misery your cat feels. Many websites advertise homeopathic supplements you can give your cat to relieve urinary tract discomfort, and some supplements are made specifically for cats with cancer to boost their immune systems while they undergo treatment.

While it can’t hurt to try homeopathic remedies in conjunction with conventional treatment, be sure to talk to your vet about any supplements you give your cat. Even herbal remedies can cause reactions with other medication.

Symptoms of Bladder Cancer in Cats

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

Bladder cancer in cats is thankfully not very common, but the symptoms of bladder cancer often get mistaken for other urinary problems. As you’ll see, the symptoms for bladder cancer in cats mimic the symptoms of a basic urinary tract infection and bladder stones (also called crystals). Here are some things to watch for:

1. Symptoms of Bladder Cancer in Cats: Trouble Urinating

Does your kitty have trouble going to the bathroom? You’ll know that something’s wrong if your cat seems to get into the litter box more frequently but can’t seem to push anything out. Watch for signs of straining like prolong squatting and pushing, because a healthy cat usually doesn’t have to try very hard to go.

2. Symptoms of Bladder Cancer in Cats: Urinating Blood

The technical term for this is hematuria. When a cat is urinating a lot of blood, it will come out bright red in her urine. It’s pretty darn scary looking, and you’ll know right away that Fluffy needs to go the vet when you see it.

If a cat is only urinating a little blood, you might not be able to see it at all. A cat may urinate small amounts of blood for months without you realizing it, and that doesn’t make you a bad cat owner. When a veterinarian looks for blood in urine, she puts a drop of it on a slide and looks for red blood cells in the sample.

3. Symptoms of Bladder Cancer in Cats: Painful Urination

This can be a tough symptom to pick up on, because your cat can’t exactly leave you a note on your pillow. Well, in a sense, she can. If your cat has been going to the bathroom outside the litter box, there’s a chance that the problem is medical and not behavioral in origin. When a cat experiences pain during urination, she can learn to associate the litter box with pain and try going in other places. Only a vet can tell you for sure what’s going on down there. Straining and meowing in the litter box can also indicate painful urination.

4. Symptoms of Bladder Cancer in Cats: Malaise

Doesn’t it seem like what cats normally do could hypothetically fall under the description of “malaise?” Most cats lay around for the majority of the day anyway. The trick to figuring out if your cat is exhibiting signs of malaise is to look for changes in behavior that could indicate discomfort. A happy cat will stretch lethargically in the sun, while a cat with malaise might sit very still in the same sunny spot. Also look for decreased appetite, which can indicate discomfort, disinterest in favorite toys, and more than the usual amount of lethargy.

BIG DISCLAIMER: This article is for informational purposes only. Don’t think for a minute that you or I can diagnose bladder cancer in your cat with this article. If your cat has any of these symptoms, a licensed veterinarian will need to run diagnostic tests to make an evaluation and determine appropriate treatment.

Symptoms and Health Risks of BCG Treatment

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

Studies conducted on bladder cancer shows that the incidence of new cases are on the increase and close to 80,000 new cases have been reported in the US. BCG is a biologic response modifier and is used in the treatment of bladder cancer. It is deactivated tuberculosis bacteria and has no direct antitumor effect but is able to activate the immune system and indirectly affect tumors.

BCG is administered by intravesicular chemotherapy. This implies that it is given directly into the bladder by the use of a urinary catheter. The urinary catheter is inserted through the urethra and the BCG medication is injected into the catheter, which is then secured. Fastening of the catheter lets the medication to stay put in the bladder. The patient is urged to roll and also lie on their backs to facilitate the medication to reach all areas in the bladder. After about 2 hours, the catheter is unfastened and the medication is drained. BCG is generally administered once in a week for six weeks and then every month for six to twelve months.

As with several other medicines, BCG also has possible side effects. It may not be experienced by everybody and several of the side effects of BCG treatment can be checked or kept within limits. The more familiar side effects of BCG are difficult urination, exhaustion, shivering associated with flu like symptoms and blood in urine (hematuria). Another serious side effect can be systemic reaction to BCG, the symptoms of which are acute fever of 24 to 48 hours, giddiness, confusion and breathlessness. These symptoms can initiate other troubles such as pneumonia, respiratory problems and infections.

Prior to commencement of the BCG treatment, you should inform your doctor about the medicines you are taking. If you are with a child, or about to get pregnant, avoid treatment for the time being as the medication may have side affect on the fetus. BCG can be transmitted sexually and hence, men should not engage in sex for 48 hours after the treatment and also use condoms during the course of treatment. In order to reduce the side effects of BCG treatment, you need to control your fluid ingestion before commencing the treatment and completely avoid alcohol and caffeine intake during days of therapy to prevent bladder discomfort. You can also sort out the side effects by taking adequate rest and eating healthy food.

Sexual Side Effects of Cancer Treatment in Women

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

There are many treatments available for cancer, with many amazing advances having been made in only recent years. Unfortunately, some of these treatments do have side effects. This article will provide you with a guide to the sexual side effects of cancer treatment for women. It does not constitute or replace medical advice.

Treatments for cancer can affect your sex life, both directly and indirectly. You should discuss sex and any concerns you have with your doctor before you undergo any treatments for your cancer. Usually sex is medically permissible during cancer treatments. Sex can be a good way to connect with your partner and feel loved and supported as you undergo your cancer treatment.

Certain types of cancer treatment are at a higher risk for sexual side effects, including bladder, breast, cervical, colon, ovarian, rectal, uterine and vaginal cancer. The most common side effects include difficulty reaching climax, less energy for sex, loss of desire for sex, pain during sex, reduced size of your vagina, and vaginal dryness.

People undergoing chemotherapy are at risk for neutropenia, a side effect of chemotherapy that results in a low white blood cell count. Your body needs white blood cells to fight off infections, and when your white blood cell count is low, your have less resistance to infection. Sex can be a pathway for infection to enter your body.
Other sexual side effects include:

• Too tired. Chemotherapy may leave you too exhausted to feel sexual.

• Inflammation. Radiation can cause the lining of your vagina to become inflamed and tender, making sex painful. As the lining heals, it may become thickened and scarred, causing tightness.

• Dryness. Some types of chemotherapy can cause vaginal dryness, making sex painful and irritating. Water based lubricants, such as K-Y jelly, can help with this problem, but discuss this with your doctor first.

• Vaginal infections. Vaginal infections are common in women undergoing chemotherapy, especially when you are taking antibiotics or steroids. These infections can cause pain, burning and irritation during sex.

• Genital warts/herpes. Chemotherapy can cause flare-ups of genital warts or herpes. This is because chemotherapy compromises your immune system and makes it more vulnerable to infections.

• Infertility. Chemotherapy can also reduce the amount of hormones your ovaries produce, and in the long run cause infertility. This infertility may be permanent or temporary, depending on the type of drug used, the dosage given, and your age.

• Surgery. Surgeries that can cause painful sex afterward include a radical cystectomy (bladder cancer), and an abdominoperineal resection (colon or rectal cancer.) If you have a vulvectomy due to cancer of the vulva, you may have difficulty reaching orgasm afterward.

• Hormone therapy, used to shrink or kill certain types of cancer, can cause menopausal symptoms, including vaginal atrophy and dryness.

Whatever the side effects, remember that these treatments are getting you on your way to beating cancer. Discuss your concerns about any and all side effects with your doctor, and good luck,

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Risk Factors for Developing Kidney (Renal) Cancer

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

Your kidneys are small bean-shaped organs located on either side of your abdomen. They have a wide variety of functions in the body, the most important of which is the regulation of blood pressure. They are also involved in maintaining the proper balance of electrolytes and other chemicals in the blood. Like any other organ in the body, the kidneys can become cancerous. Renal cancer is a potentially lethal cancer involving one or both of the kidneys. As with most cancers, renal cancer has the ability to spread throughout the body. Once it has done this, the chances of survival are quite slim.

Over 50,000 people will be diagnosed with renal cancer each year in the United States. There are several types of cancer which can effect the kidneys. Primary renal cancer is any cancer which originates in the kidney. Secondary renal cancer is a condition where the cancer began somewhere else in the body, and spread to the kidneys. Primary renal cancer has several distinct types. The most common type is called renal cell carcinoma. These cancers account for up to 85% of all primary cancers in the kidneys. The other major type of primary renal cancer is known as a transitional cell cancer. This type of cancer is more similar to a bladder cancer, although it effects parts of the kidneys.

As is the case with many diseases, it is better to try and prevent renal cancer than it is to be forced to deal with it once it has begun. In order to prevent renal cancer, it is important to known what some of the common risk factors are for the development of this disease. By controlling some of these risk factors, you may be able to limit you chances of every being diagnosed with renal cancer.

The first and most important risk factor for renal cancer is cigarette smoking. The reason for this is not well understood, but numerous studies have show that smokers have almost twice the risk of getting renal cancer compared to those who do not smoke. This is yet another reason why you should not smoke (as if the other few thousand reasons weren’t enough).

Although there is very little you can to do control your gender or age, these can be risk factors for renal cancer. Most cases of kidney cancer are seen in people over the age of 55. As you get older, your chances of getting kidney cancer increase. In addition, men are more likely to get renal cancer.

Obesity has been linked with the chances of developing renal cancer. The exact reason for this has no been worked out by doctors, although the association is quite well established.

There are risk factors related to the environment as well. Exposure to asbestos, cadmium, and other petroleum products has been shown to increase the risk of developing renal cancer. If you work in environments where these chemicals are present, you should take the necessary precautions to limit your exposure as much as possible.

There is some evidence that long term use of analgesics, especially aspirin, may put a person at increased risk for kidney cancer. This association is somewhat controversial however, and a definite link has not been established.

Lastly, there are a few rare genetic conditions which can increase a persons risk for renal cancer. Tuberous sclerosis and von Hippel-Lindau Syndrome are two genetic diseases that effect the kidneys and can increase your chances of getting a renal cancer. There is some evidence that having a close relative with renal cancer can place you at higher risk as well, especially if that person had a form that was not associated with environmental exposures.

Renal cancer is a serious disease that must be treated aggressively in oder to save the effected person. If you have questions about renal cancer and how you may be at risk, be sure to talk to your doctor.

Infection of the Bladder

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

The bladder is connected to the kidneys by two tubes called ureters that carry urine into the bladder, where it is stored until you pass it into the outside world through a single tube called a urethra. An overactive bladder is a condition that results from sudden, involuntary contraction of the musclein the wall of the urinary bladder. Overactive bladder is also referred to as urge incontinence and is a form of urinary incontinence (unintentional loss of urine). An infection of the bladder is one of the more frequent sites of infections in humans.

A frequent cause of infection of the bladder is insufficient urine production, for instance in hot weather. If this cleaning mechanism of the bladder is interrupted, for example because of loss of water in the form of sweat, the bacteria will not be flushed out of the bladder often enough and will get time to multiply. The examination is important to get information about the condition the bladder is in (which is important for the prediction of the outcome of an operation of the prostate) and to find the cause in cases of incontinence. In men, because the bladder is located near the prostate, the doctor will insert a finger in the male?s rectum to feel the bladder, while in women, the examination is performed through the vagina because the bladder is located in the womb. The more common cause of death related to the urinary tract is now sepsis (a blood stream infection resulting from a symptomatic infection in the urinary tract) rather than kidney failure.

Urine that is held too long before being eliminated may lead to infections of the bladder or ureters. A urinary tract infection can occur in the bladder, the kidney, or other parts of the urinary tract. Urinary tract infections, common in young women, can cause temporary problems with bladder control. Common symptoms of neurogenic bladder and the infections it can cause are: leaking or dribbling urinea frequent and urgent need to urinate pain or burning when urinating pain in the lower pelvis, stomach, lower back, or side change in the amount you urinate, either more or less chills fever. If a man does get an infection of the bladder, it often means that there is something else going on too: bladder stones, enlargement of the prostate, etc.

Proper cleaning of urinary care supplies can help prevent infection. You can also help prevent infection by completely emptying your bladder if you can. This helps prevent bacteria from being left in the body long enough to multiply. Clean skin is also an important step in preventing infection. Regular daily exercising of the pelvic muscles can improve and even prevent urinary incontinence. Antibiotics may be given to treat peritonitis and to prevent the development of urinary tract infections. This will prevent urine from accumulating in the bladder, which allows the injured bladder or urethra to heal.

Certain drugs may help the bladder stay relaxed and store urine longer, or an artificial sphincter may be necessary to stop the flow of urine. Drugs that relax bladder muscles and prevent bladder spasms include oxybutynin chloride (Ditropan), tolterodine (Detrol), hyoscyamine (Levsin), and propantheline bromide (Pro-Banthine), which belong to the class of drugs called anticholinergics. These drugs should be used with caution in men with a large prostate gland as the drugs may cause urinary retention. Drinking alcohol and using sedatives in combination with these antispasmodic drugs is contraindicated.

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Gall Bladder Disease Symptoms

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

Beyond gall bladder cancer and gallstones, there are several gall bladder diseases that anyone can suffer from. Gall bladder diseases mainly affect women, though men can be affected by them as well. Gall bladder disease symptoms usually occur because of a swelling of or an infection in the organ, and can be extremely painful to experience.

Acute cholecystitis is an infection or inflammation of the organ, and causes pain and a fever that last for 12 hours or more. The pain is located on the right side of the body under the ribs and may feel like an intense soreness. The pain is made worse by coughing and moving around. People who develop acute cholecystitis usually also have gallstones, and must see a doctor immediately if these symptoms occur. Antibiotics are usually given to treat this condition, but if they are not effective, the gall bladder may have to be removed entirely.

Jaundice can also occur when there are gallstones present. The early symptoms include the same symptoms as occur with acute cholecystitis- pain in the same area and fever. After that, the eyes and skin will yellow and the skin will get itchy. Later stages include fever accompanied by shaking chills. At this stage, it must be treated by a doctor right away, as the infection is spreading.

A gall bladder attack is an excruciatingly painful episode when the gall bladder becomes inflamed. This can be because of a blockage caused by gallstones, or it can occur on its own with no stones present. The symptoms include fever, nausea, vomiting, and pain below the ribs on the right side. Many people think they are having appendicitis, and the symptoms are similar. Eating a very fatty or greasy meal can bring on a gall bladder attack. If the doctor is unsure that the symptoms are being caused by the gall bladder, he may prescribe a fatty meal be eaten to see if another attack occurs. Recurrent gall bladder attacks may need to be treated with the removal of the gall bladder.

More than 500,000 Americans have surgery to remove their gall bladders every year. One of the problems causing so much gall bladder disease is obesity. This is a known cause of gallstones as well as other gall bladder disease symptoms. By age 40, about 2.5 percent of people will have gallstones, and many more will have had other problems, such as gallbladder attacks. One way to prevent gall bladder problems is to eat a low fat diet and to get regular exercise.

Gall Bladder Cancer Treatments

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

Gall bladder cancer is one of the most deadly forms of cancer due to the difficulty in diagnosing the illness. Once gall bladder cancer has been diagnosed, there are a variety of gall bladder cancer treatments that may be available, depending on what stage the cancer has progressed to. An early diagnosis can actually mean a high chance of survival, while gall bladder cancer in its later stages is almost always fatal.

In stage I gall bladder cancers, the cancer may be confined within the organ, and removing it will remove the cancer completely. Gall bladder cancer found in stage one with localized cancer that can be removed has a five year survival rate or nearly 100 percent. If the cancer has progressed past the gall bladder, the survival rates are less than 15 percent.

Most patients with gall bladder cancer that has progressed to stages II through IV will have cancer that has left the gall bladder, and removal of the organ will not completely remove the disease. The cancer will often move from the gall bladder into the liver or lymph nodes and from there to other organs. Once the cancer has progressed this far, there are no reliable gall bladder cancer treatments other than radiation and chemotherapy. One of the problems with chemotherapy at this stage is that the patient may be too weak for the treatment.

Gall bladder cancer is a relatively rare cancer, and currently there are no clinical trials aimed specifically toward this type of cancer. There are some clinical trials for the treatment of non-specific types of cancer, and these may prove to be worth pursuing. There are trials that involve combining radiation with drugs that are used to enhance the effects radiation treatment, called radiosensitizer drugs. These have been known to help treat some forms of cancer, such as head and neck cancers.

If chemotherapy is determined to be the best mode of treatment, the issue of the patient’s weakness may prevent it from being utilized. Gall bladder cancer interferes with the body’s nutrition absorption, and weight loss and weakness are common. If a patient is looking for a way to stop weight loss in order to undergo treatment, a j-tube may be an option. This is feeding tube that can be inserted directly into the small intestines to provide nutrition that has a better chance of being absorbed. A j-tube requires a few days in the hospital, and then the patient can go home with the tube and continue the tube feedings there.