British Journal of Community Nursing, Vol. 14, Iss. 9, 04 Sep 2009, pp 385 - 392
Bladder cancer is common in the UK. Of all the aetiological factors associated with the development of the disease, cigarette smoking is the most important, in industrialized countries. It is estimated that 60% of all bladder cancers result from smoking. The management of bladder cancer is governed by specific guidelines. Superficial cancers are managed surgically with transurethral resection, while more aggressive tumours are managed with cystectomy (removal of the bladder). Additional treatment includes cytotoxic therapy with intravesical chemotherapy and immunotherapy agents. However, while treatments may be effective in reducing tumour recurrence, the side effects of treatments on the individual's quality of life can be devastating. This paper seeks to provide an overview of bladder cancer, namely how the disease presents and is subsequently treated. The role of smoking is discussed in relation to the development of bladder cancer. Also, whether health promotion and education are effective in increasing the individual's awareness of the dangers of smoking are explored.