Bladder cancer is a type of tumor that starts in the tissue of the bladder, the sac-like organ in the lower abdomen that stores urine. Most bladder tumors begin in the cells that line the inside of the bladder (urothelium) and are known as urothelial carcinomas.
The main risk factors for developing bladder cancer include tobacco smoking, exposure to certain chemicals in the workplace or environment, recurrent urinary tract infections, family history of bladder cancer, and previous radiation therapy to the pelvic area.
Symptoms of bladder cancer may include blood in the urine (hematuria), frequent or urgent urination, pain or burning with urination, and the need to urinate without being able to hold urine.
The diagnosis of bladder cancer usually involves a combination of clinical history, physical examination, laboratory tests (such as urinalysis) and imaging tests (such as ultrasound, computed tomography or cystoscopy). In order to reach a definitive diagnosis it is necessary to perform a Transurethral Resection of the bladder (TUR of the bladder) after which the biopsied tissue is analyzed giving an anatomopathological result.
It is important to note that bladder cancer is a treatable disease, especially if detected in early stages. Prognosis and survival vary depending on the stage at which the cancer is diagnosed and the type of treatment received. Regular urologic follow-up and adherence to the treatment plan are critical to the proper management of bladder cancer.
What is TUR of the bladder?
TUR of the bladder, also known as transurethral resection of the bladder, is an endoscopic surgical procedure used to diagnose and treat certain bladder pathologies, including early bladder cancer.
During bladder TUR, an instrument called a resectoscope is inserted through the urethra into the bladder. The resectoscope has a small camera on the end, which allows the physician to visualize the inside of the bladder. Specialized tools, such as cutting loops with a bipolar electric current, are inserted through the resectoscope to resect or remove diseased or tumor tissue.
The main goal of bladder TUR in cancer treatment is to remove superficial tumors of the bladder and obtain tissue samples for laboratory analysis (biopsy). Depending on the size and location of the tumor, it may be completely removed or a partial resection may be performed.
Bladder TUR is performed under general or regional anesthesia. After the procedure, there may be some discomfort or bleeding when urinating for a brief period, but these symptoms usually resolve over time.
Why is transurethral resection of the bladder performed?
Transurethral resection of the bladder (TUR of the bladder) is performed for several purposes, one of the main ones being the diagnosis and treatment of early bladder cancer. The following are the main reasons why TUR of the bladder is performed:
- Diagnosis of bladder cancer: TUR of the bladder allows tissue samples (biopsies) to be obtained from the bladder for laboratory analysis. This helps to confirm or rule out the presence of cancer and to determine the type and grade of cancer, which is essential to establish an appropriate treatment plan.
- Treatment of non-invasive bladder tumors: TUR of the bladder is used to remove and treat superficial bladder tumors, which are those that have not invaded deeper layers of the bladder or spread to other organs. By removing the tumors, the risk of regrowth is reduced and survival is improved.
- Symptom control and relief: In cases of large or multiple bladder tumors, bladder TUR may relieve associated urinary symptoms, such as difficulty urinating, bleeding or obstruction of urinary flow.
In summary, bladder TUR plays a fundamental role in the diagnosis and treatment of bladder conditions, especially early bladder cancer. It allows tissue samples to be obtained for analysis, superficial tumors to be removed and symptoms to be controlled, thus helping to improve the prognosis and quality of life of patients.
Why is TUR of the bladder recommended?
Transurethral resection of the bladder (TUR of the bladder) is recommended in several cases due to its benefits and effectiveness in the diagnosis and treatment of various bladder conditions. TUR of the bladder is performed through the urethra, without the need for external incisions, making it a minimally invasive technique. This results in a lower risk of complications, less postoperative pain and a shorter hospital stay compared to more invasive surgeries.
Advantages of TUR in bladder cancer
Transurethral resection of the bladder (TUR of the bladder) offers several advantages in the treatment of bladder cancer. The benefits of transurethral resection are listed below:
- Effective and safe treatment of non-invasive tumors: Bladder TUR is highly effective in the treatment of early-stage superficial bladder tumors. It allows precise and complete removal of tumors, which helps reduce the risk of cancer recurrence and progression.
- Preservation of urinary function: Bladder TUR aims to remove tumors without significantly affecting urinary function. By preserving the structure and function of the bladder, patients are allowed to maintain better control of urination and a more satisfactory quality of life.
- Less physical impact and faster recovery: Bladder TUR is a minimally invasive procedure that is performed through the urethra, without the need for external incisions. This reduces trauma and physical impact compared to more invasive surgeries, resulting in faster recovery and less postoperative pain.
- Accurate assessment of the stage and grade of the cancer: During TUR of the bladder, tissue samples (biopsies) are obtained that allow for an accurate assessment of the stage and grade of the cancer. This is critical in determining the most appropriate treatment plan, including the need for additional therapies, such as intravesical therapy.
It is important to note that bladder TUR may have some limitations, especially in cases of larger tumors or more advanced stages of bladder cancer. In such cases, a combination of additional therapies may be necessary. The decision on the most appropriate treatment approach should be made in consultation with your urologist.
Urologists specializing in bladder cancer in Madrid
Our service is composed of several specialists dedicated especially to the treatment of oncological pathology such as bladder tumor. It should be noted that Ruber Internacional is currently equipped with the most cutting-edge technology for the treatment of this type of pathology, which allows us to offer state-of-the-art therapeutic options.
We have advanced diagnostic equipment, such as high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging, state-of-the-art computed tomography and specialized ultrasound in the urological area, which allow us to obtain detailed and precise images for the accurate detection and evaluation of bladder tumors.
In addition, we have operating rooms equipped with state-of-the-art technology to perform transurethral bladder resection (TUR of the bladder) and other complex surgical procedures, such as robotic surgery with the Da Vinci Xi robot. Our specialists are highly trained and experienced in performing these procedures, ensuring maximum precision and safety.
We also have advanced oncology treatment options, such as intravesical therapy, which consists of the direct administration of drugs into the bladder, and intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), which allows precise irradiation of the tumor while minimizing damage to surrounding healthy tissues.
We are proud to be able to provide our patients with access to cutting-edge technologies, allowing us to offer personalized therapeutic options and improve outcomes in the treatment of bladder tumor. Our goal is to provide comprehensive, quality care, backed by technological innovation, to deliver the best possible care to our patients.