“The bladder plays an apparently very simple but also extremely complex role: it transforms a continuous flow of urine coming from the kidneys into an intermittent flow and a voluntary emission”: bladder cancer is explained by Dr. Massimo Lazzeri, urologist at Humanitas, guest in the studio in Buono a Sapersi on RaiUno,.

“We distinguish two important forms of bladder cancer: a so-called non-infiltrative form, which causes less concern, and an infiltrative form. In the case of infiltrating forms, i.e. those that go deeper in the muscle, we can have the involvement of both ureters, a renal block and therefore an important suffering.

In Italy every year we have about 25,000 new cases: 20,000 for men and 5,000 for women; recent statistics show a slight increase and we will have to worry about this and try to understand the reasons,” explained the specialist.


Risk factors

“The male gender is affected five times more than the female gender and this is linked to the risk factors for developing a bladder neoplasm, i.e. habits, first and foremost that of smoking. As we know, the male gender smokes more than the female gender and this partly explains why there is a gender difference.

We have two main types of risk factors: one is constitutional-genetic and therefore unalterable, but we also have environmental risk factors on which we must take action, such as cigarette smoke, contact with dyes, paints and rubbers and pollution of groundwater.

In men, the highest peaks in the incidence of tumor development are from the age of 55-60 years, but it can strike even earlier,” said Dr. Lazzeri.


How does bladder cancer manifest itself?

“It is very often a silent tumor and the first sign is frequently the appearance of blood in the urine. In the presence of blood in the urine, it is recommended to visit a urologist because the blood in the urine could be the first sign of a bladder neoplasm. Beside this, annoyances such as bladder pain and sudden increase in urinary frequency that does not pass with antibiotic treatment are further signs of potential concern”.


Diagnosis and treatment

“The diagnosis makes use of urine examination and ultrasound scanning. If the tumor is at an early stage, we can treat it with appropriate solutions both in terms of organ preservation and in terms of quality of life,” concluded the specialist.


Watch the interview with Dr. Lazzeri from the minute 38.51, click here.