Bladder cancer is a devastating diagnosis that requires immediate action. Paul Perito MD explains how medical advancements can help doctors catch it sooner and treat it more effectively.
According to Paul Perito MD, bladder cancer is the formation of malignant cells inside of the bladder, the hollow organ in the abdomen that stores urine. According to Paul Perito MD, there are three different types of cancer that affect the bladder. Transitional cell carcinoma begins in the innermost layer of the organ’s tissue and is where most cancer begins. Squamous cell carcinoma usually begins as the result of a long-term infection or chronic irritation. Adenocarcinoma begins in the secretory cells, and may also be the result of bladder irritation or infection, adds Paul Perito MD.
Superficial bladder cancer affects only the lining of the bladder. It is the most easily treatable form of the disease, says Paul Perito MD. One of the most interesting and efficacious procedures available today for the treatment of superficial bladder cancer is laser therapy. According to Paul Perito MD, laser therapy utilizes a narrow beam of light at an ultrahigh intensity. This is beneficial to surgeons because lasers are extremely accurate and can be used in place of a scalpel for precision work.
Lasers are known to destroy cancerous cells and are thus highly effective in the treatment of superficial cancers. Paul Perito MD notes that the use of lasers is not uncommon and that they are regularly used to treat many different variations of early-stage carcinoma, including penile and skin cell. Laser therapy can be used independently but has proven most beneficial when combined with radiation or chemotherapy and/or surgery, says Paul Perito MD. Additionally, lasers have the ability to seal nerve endings and lymph vessels, which may reduce pain and swelling.
Laser therapy is administered through an endoscope fitted with narrow optical fibers. According to Paul Perito MD, as lasers cause less damage to non-infected tissue, patients are more likely to have an easy recovery. The use of a laser minimizes trauma to the organ, reports Paul Perito MD, therefore the risk of infection is lower than with traditional methods that rely on physical contact of a cutting implement (scalpel). Laser therapy is not without its flaws, as it is expensive and may require repeat treatments.
Bladder cancer symptoms include bloody urine, frequent or painful urination and lower back pain, says Paul Perito MD. There are a number of test procedures that are beneficial in diagnosing the disease, as the symptoms are not unique to bladder cancer. According to Paul Perito MD, a CT scan, urinalysis, cystoscopy (a procedure that utilizes a thin, lighted tube to view the area), and even x-rays and internal examinations may all be utilized to confirm the existence of malignant cells in the bladder. If cancer is suspected, a biopsy or urine cytology may be performed to check for abnormal cells.
The combination of early intervention and a proactive treatment plan offers the patient the best chance for a positive prognosis, concludes Paul Perito MD.
Paul Perito MD is a Coral Gables, Florida-based urologist whose practice, Perito Urology, specializes in men’s health issues. Most notably, Dr. Perito has developed and actualized a minimally invasive penile implant procedure that is safe, efficacious, and proven to diminish the risk of infection to the patient. He is Chairman of the Urology Department at Coral Gables Hospital as well as an active member of the American Urological Society. Paul Perito MD has traveled abroad extensively to promote his minimally invasive penile implant technique. Dr. Perito is a 1988 graduate of the University Of Maryland Medical School and also holds a BA in chemistry from Emory University.
The information contained in this article is provided by Paul Perito MD for educational purposes only. It is not intended to treat or diagnose any condition.