Bladder cancer is a form of cancer that affects the tissues of the bladder. In general, it is described as a traditional cell carcinoma, which means that it starts in the cells of the bladder's inner lining. Sometimes it forms a squamous cell carcinoma or an adeocarcinoma because the inner lining of the bladder suffers from chronic inflammation or irritation. In the year 2008, in the United States alone, there were over 68,000 new cases of bladder cancer and over 14,000 deaths.
The exact causes of bladder cancer are unknown. However, there are some people who have a higher likelihood, or increased risk factors, of developing the disease than other people. However, just because a person has certain risk factors, it does not mean he will have the disease and, in the alternative, just because a person has no risk factors, it does not mean the person will not get it.
Various research studies have pointed to several risk factors that may increase the chances that a person will get bladder cancer. For example, as people age, their chances of getting the disease increases. In fact, it is rarely found in individuals less than 40 years old. Another example, tobacco use, has significant links to an increase in the rate of bladder cancer. Specifically, people who smoke cigarettes are twice or triply as likely to get the disease when compared to those that do not smoke.
An individual's occupation can also play a role in their chances of being affected by bladder cancer. Unfortunately, some people are exposed to carcinogens at work. Certain industry workers, such as rubber, leather and chemical workers, have a higher possibility of exposure. Others such as hairdressers, textile workers, painters, and truck drivers may also be exposed to carcinogens that can lead to the disease.
Other factors that can increase the likelihood of bladder cancer are uncontrollable. For example, race plays a role. Caucasians are two times more likely to get the disease than other groups. In addition, men have two to three times the chance they will have it when compared to women.
Genetics can increase the probability of getting bladder cancer, as well. Individuals that have a family member with the disease are more likely to get it themselves. Plus, people that have had it once are more likely to get it a second time.
Some everyday chemicals may also lead to bladder cancer. Although studies are inconclusive, some researchers believe that chlorine in drinking water causes bladder cancer. Also, artificial sweeteners such as saccharin have been shown to cause the disease in laboratory animals.
Natural Ways in treating bladder cancer
The first step in designing a diet for fighting cancer is to remove those foods that can exacerbate the disorder. Animal products, including red meat, poultry, cured or smoked meats, butter, cheeses and whole milk should be eliminated from the patient's diet. Commercial meat and dairy contain large amounts of environmental pollutants, including pesticides, hormones and animal steroids.
Once the majority of toxic foods have been eliminated from the diet, it is important to replace them with foods that help to boost the body's own immune system. Raw fruits and vegetables, preferably organic, should make up a large part of the new dietary regime. Fruits and vegetables that contain high amounts of quercetin and other phytochemicals that are essential to the immune system. Foods such as cranberries, blueberries, kale, broccoli, red onions and garlic, provide cancer fighting nutrients and enzymes that help to impede the further growth of cancer cells. Foods rich in the antioxidant lycopene, such as tomatoes, also help to prevent cancerous cells from damaging otherwise healthy cells within the bladder.
Vitamin supplements can also be added to the patient's dietary regime to further bolster their immune system. Vitamins C and E help the body to maintain its natural health at both the cellular and DNA levels. Regular daily doses can be added to a patient's already improved diet to help strengthen the body's own ability to heal. Vitamin D is also recommended, as a regular dosage diminishes the activity of enzymes necessary to the growth of cancerous cells.