What are bladder polyps?
A bladder is a hollow organ in your pelvis which stores urine. A polyp is a growth that develops on a mucous membrane in your body. Polyps can equally grow on your bladder. Bladder polyps are growths in the lining of your bladder. Polyps can be either benign or cancerous.
Causes of bladder polyps
The cause of polyps is yet unknown. Polyps form when cells starts to grow abnormally. Cancerous polyps can often grow quickly and spread to other organs leading to bladder cancer. Bladder cancer may be caused by tobacco smoke, infection, or exposure to radiation or toxic chemicals.
Fibroepithelial polyps are noncancerous polyps that develop in the ureters and top of the bladder. Some children are born with this type of polyp. In other cases, these polyps are caused by infections, irritation of the bladder, or injury.
Symptoms of bladder polyps
Bladder polyps often don’t cause symptoms. But if symptoms do appear, they may include:
- blood in urine
- pain when you urinate
- frequent urination
- urgent need to urinate
- pain in your side
These symptoms may be signs of bladder cancer. They may also be due to another condition, called urinary tract infection or benign prostate growth.
What are the risk factors?
- Cigarettes, cigars, and pipes contain toxic chemicals that can accumulate in your urine and damage your bladder lining.
- Being male. Men are at higher risk of developing bladder polyps and bladder cancerthan are women.
- Are over 40. The risk of bladder cancer also increases with age.
- Being exposed to cancer-causing substances at work
- Recurrent infections can irritate your bladder and increase your risk for polyps and bladder cancer.
Diagnosing bladder polyps
Bladder polyps are usually diagnosed by a urologist. Your doctor will first ask about your symptoms, and your personal and family history of polyps and bladder cancer.
Tests that are used to diagnose bladder polyps and cancer include:
- Urine cytology. A urine sample is tested to look for cancer cells.
- Urine culture. The doctor checks a sample of your urine for bacteria that cause infections.
- Urine tumor marker tests. These tests look for substances in your urine that bladder cancer cells release.
- Cystoscopy. The doctor places a thin scope with a light and camera on one end into your bladder. This test can show any growths in the lining of your bladder.
- Biopsy. The doctor removes a small piece of tissue from your bladder during a cystoscopy and send it to a lab for examination.
Treating bladder polyps
No treatment may be necessary if a bladder polyp is noncancerous and not causing any symptoms.
However, if a bladder polyp is cancerous, or big enough to affect your bladder function, it may be removed by your doctor.
Polyps can be removed by performing a surgery called transurethral bladder resection (TURBT). The surgeion inserts a cystoscope through your urethra into your bladder then uses a laser, a wire loop, or electricity to remove the growth.
Your doctor may do a radical cystectomy if the polyp is cancerous by removing your whole bladder, along with nearby organs.