Bladder cancer is frequently mistaken for a bladder infection, because the two conditions share many of the same symptoms.
The presence of blood in the urine and painful urination, though, are telltale signs of bladder cancer.
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Bladder cancer strikes three times as many men as women and is usually found in people over the age of 40. Approximately 40,000 new cases of it are diagnosed yearly in the United States, and more than 15,000 people die from it each year. It is commonly caused by exposure to artificial chemicals and industrial compounds.
Signs and Symptoms
Blood in the urine
Pain during urination
Appetite or weight loss
Pain in the pelvic area or lower back
Conventional Medical Treatment
If you suspect that you have bladder cancer, visit your physician immediately. Often the cancer diagnosis is suspected because blood is detected during a routine microscopic examination of urine conducted during an annual physical exam. To confirm the diagnosis, your doctor may perform a CAT scan, or a cystoscopic examination, during which a scope is passed through the urethra into the bladder to collect a sample of the bladder lining, which is then tested for malignant cells. If bladder cancer is diagnosed early, surgery alone is usually successful in removing the growth. After surgery, the patient must be tested every 3 to 6 months for recurring masses. Approximately 70 percent of bladder surgery patients develop another small tumor within five years.
If the cancer is not diagnosed early and is allowed to penetrate the bladder wall or surrounding layer of fat, the cancer will probably require surgery followed by radiation therapy or chemotherapy. During radiation therapy, a focused beam of high-energy radiation is used to destroy cancerous cells. Radiation is targeted only at affected areas as and is performed regularly for a set period of time. During chemotherapy, the patient must take medication (usually intravenously) that is designed to kill cancer cells.
Traditional Chinese Medicine
Acupuncture traditional Chinese Medicine regards cancer as an energy imbalance caused by any number of factors, including poor diet, lack of exercise, stress, environmental toxins, or overwork.
Acupuncture may be used to improve the flow of energy along the bladder meridian and by targeting specific acupoints, which may offer pain relief. It also can be used to help reduce the negative side effects of radiation or chemotherapy.
Acupressure This modality works on the same principles as acupunctureHealth Fitness Articles, and the same meridians can be manipulated to help alleviate pain and promote overall energy balance. Herbs that strengthen the immune system may often be very beneficial.
Chinese Herbal Therapy Studies in Japan have demonstrated that fresh aloe vera juice contains chemicals that slow the growth of cancer cells and impair their ability to spread.