In 2011 the FDA fielded studies tying Actos to emerging cases of bladder cancer across the globe. Takeda Pharmaceudicals's popular diabetes drug could be responsible for some of the projected 74,000 bladder cancer diagnoses in 2012, including 14,000 cases the American Cancer Society estimates will prove fatal. Although grave when left untreated, bladder cancer can be thwarted with the aid of early diagnosis.
When cancer cells begin to deviate within the bladder wall's connective tissue, the cancer is considered in "stage I." Doctors prescribe a surgical procedure known as an transurethral resection (TUR), coupled with intravesical therapies or chemotherapy, when dealing with stage I bladder cancer. However, if the cancer is high-grade, many tumors exist, or a tumor is exceptionally large, a radical cystectomy may be employed instead. Radiation therapy paired with chemotherapy presents a final option for patients who cannot sustain more invasive procedures.
Once again, staying informed and diagnosing bladder cancer early pays dividends, improving five-year survival rates in patients up to 88%.
Tumors broaching the muscled bladder wall point towards "stage II" bladder cancer. Radical cystectomies serve as the primary treatment option, and surgeons might choose to remove lymph nodes surrounding the bladder. Some patients may only harbor cancer in one part of the bladder: in these cases, partial cystectomies remain an alternative. If the tumor is small, singular, and obstructing urine flow from a kidney, TURs provide another option.
In stage II bladder cancer, deposits of mutated cells too small to register on imaging tests can spread throughout the body in a process known as micrometastases. Chemotherapy is typically given before or after surgery to combat the possibility of micometastases. The five-year survival rate of stage II bladder cancer decreases from 88% to 63%.
Once the disease promotes outside the bladder and into surrounding tissues or organs, bladder cancer has progressed into "stage III." Patients receive treatments for stage III bladder cancer similar to stage II cancer treatments -- including radical cystectomies and the removal of nearby lymph nodes. To reduce risks of micrometastases, chemotherapy is administered before or after surgical procedures treating stage III bladder cancer. Each method presents its own advantages and disadvantages. We repeat that staying informed to weigh your treatment options is crucial in confronting this disease.
A TUR procedure coupled with a radiation/chemotherapy combination treatment could spare qualified patients from invasive cystectomies. However, when multiple tumors are present or a tumor is blocking urine flow from a kidney, patients may lose eligibility for this procedure. The five-year survival rate for stage III patients sits at 46%.
Stage IV bladder cancer occurs once growths encroach into the abdominal/pelvic wall, spread to nearby nymph nodes, or radiate to other parts of the body. In most cases, surgery will not succeed in removing all the infection. Please be aware that treatment proposed for stage IV cancer should aim to relieve symptoms and stymie the disease's progression. Understanding the goals of these procedures is imperative.
For cancers that have no emanated outward, chemotherapy remains a viable option. In the event that the cancer recedes, then a cystectomy might eventually become feasible. If your bladder cancer has metastasized, however, chemotherapy can be accompanied by a radical cystectomy or radiation treatment to help increase overall longevity and quality of life. Stage IV bladder cancer has a 15% five-year survival rate.
Finding information on bladder cancer and its treatment is the first step toward taking your life back from this disease. Holding pharmaceutical firms like Takeda accountable for the anguish their products cause you or your loved ones sends a powerful message. There is hope for recovery and reform.