Actos Attorney News – 3/15/2012: If you were prescribed Actos and have suffered negative side effects, please contact us today so that we can put you in touch with an attorney to advise you of your legal rights.
Actos Attorney: Bladder cancer, or any serious potentially life threatening illness is generally alien to most individuals. Suddenly, lives are changed and a new reality must be dealt with. Becoming a “patient” or worse “a cancer patient” is not only threatening, but a dreaded proposition. Cancer patients are not happy with the loss of autonomy, the invasion of privacy, the discomfort inflicted upon them and the demands on their time and quality of life. As a patient, being thrust into this altered identity, it is essential to seek out the information you need. Having a fundamental base of knowledge is a must when facing the issues and treatment decisions which lie ahead. In the following pages, together we will explore bladder cancer, a disease which is totally foreign to most of us until the diagnosis is made.
The bladder is a hollow organ nestled in the lower abdomen that serves as a storage container for urine, the liquid waste produced by the kidneys. The inner tissue of the bladder is surrounded by an outer layer of muscle that tightens to increase the pressure in the bladder when one is about to pass urine, forcing the urine to pass from the bladder into the urethra (the flexible tube that carries urine from the bladder to the point of urination) and out of the body. Cancer that arises in the bladder is one of the most common malignancies in industrialized societies, yet it is not well understood in the community at large. We believe that it is time to provide a simple, non-medical explanation of this disease for people who have to deal with this illness either as patients or as caregivers.
Cancer can affect any part of the bladder. When bladder cancer is examined under a microscope, different types can be identified. Transitional cell cancer, which accounts for more than 90 percent of bladder cancers, begins in the innermost layer of bladder tissue and consists of cells of variable sizes and shapes. It is called “transitional” because it resembles some of the other patterns of cells that are found in bladder cancer and has been thought to be intermediate or transitional between some of them. Because of where it begins, it is also called urothelial cancer. Another pattern is squamous cell carcinoma, which starts in the flat cells that line the inside of the bladder and (under the microscope) closely resembles the appearance of the cells that make up the layers of skin. Adenocarcinoma begins in cells that have a gland like appearance and make mucus. Squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma are very uncommon.
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Actos Attorney: Cancer is not one disease; it is many diseases affecting parts of the human body. All cancers have one thing in common: Something has gone wrong in the way some of the body’s cells normally grow, divide, and die. When a cancer forms, the main problem is that some cells start to grow, slowly or quickly, in an uncontrolled fashion, and the usual switch-off mechanisms that stop cell growth don’t work properly. The breakdown in the switch-off mechanisms may be caused by exposure to chemicals (for example, some of those found in cigarette smoke), radiation, or even rare types of virus infection. The extra cells may cluster and form a tumor. Cancer cells may invade and damage surrounding tissue. Cancer cells may also break away and spread through the body by entering the lymph or blood systems. Most bladder cancers are treatable by techniques that kill them or remove them surgically as they sit 011 the inner surface of the bladder; others axe invasive (having burrowed into the wall of the bladder) or metastatic (having spread to other parts of the body), and treatment is thus more complicated.
Bladder cancer primarily affects those between the ages of 50 and 70, more often men than women, and more Caucasians than African Americans, Hispanics, or Asians. Smokers, ex-smokers, and those who have jobs that expose them to certain chemicals or environmental toxins are at high risk of developing bladder cancer. Family members of those who have had bladder cancer are at slightly higher risk of developing the disease, and if you have already had bladder cancer, you have an increased chance of getting it again. The bladder is a balloon-shaped, muscular organ tucked into the pelvis and held in place by fibrous bands and muscle. The bladder is part of a system that includes the kidneys, ureters, and urethra. These work to process the waste products left behind after your body has taken out the nutrients it needs from the food you eat. The bladder is lined on the inside by a tissue known as “urothelium,” the smooth layer that stretches as the bladder fills and prevents excreted material from being reabsorbed into the body. Underneath the urothelium is a mix of fibrous or supporting tissue and muscle, both of which help the bladder to expand (when full) and to contract and excrete urine at the appropriate time.
The most common symptom of bladder cancer is hematuria, or blood visible in the urine, either with or without any accompanying pain. About 85 percent of the people diagnosed with bladder cancer notice blood in their urine, and it’s often what prompts them to seek medical attention. In some cases, the presence of blood isn’t noticeable to the naked eye and can only be seen through a microscope, usually when a urine test is being done during a routine physical or when an infection of the urinary tract or bladder is suspected. A urine test can detect whether blood is present in the urine and can also rule out whether other things, such as food or medicines, are the cause of red or rusty-colored urine.
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