Bladder Cancer

  1. General information
    1. Most common site of cancer of the urinary tract
    2. Occurs in men 3 times more often than women; peak age 50-70 years
    3. Predisposing factors include exposure to chemicals (especially aniline dyes), cigarette smoking, chronic bladder infections
  2. Medical management: dependent on the staging of cell type; includes
    1. Radiation therapy, usually in combination with surgery
    2. Chemotherapy: considerable research on both agents and methods of administration
      1. Methods include direct bladder instillations, intra-arterial infusions, IV infusion, oral ingestion
      2. Agents include 5-fluorouracil, methotrexate, bleomycin, mitomycin-C, hydroxyurea, doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, cisplatin; results variable
    3. Surgery: see Bladder Surgery.
  3. Assessment findings
    1. Intermittent painless hematuria, dysuria, frequent urination
    2. Diagnostic tests
      1. Cytoscopy with biopsy reveals malignancy
      2. Cytologic exam of the urine reveals malignant cells
  4. Nursing interventions: provide care for the client receiving radiation therapy or chemotherapy, and for the client with bladder surgery.

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