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More than 65,000 people in the United States are diagnosed each year with bladder cancer. Men are more likely than women to develop the disease, and it is more prevalent among Caucasians than African-Americans or Hispanics. Smoking is major risk factor.
Dr. Andrew Kramer, a urologist at the University of Maryland Medical Center and an assistant professor of urology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, says that the cancer may be superficial, affecting only the lining of the bladder, or more invasive, growing into the muscle and surrounding tissue. The main symptom is blood in the urine. The treatment depends on the type of cancer, with more advanced cases requiring surgery to remove the bladder, Dr. Kramer says in an interview with Karen Warmkessel.
Dr. Kramer notes that he is able to perform this operation, which is called a radical cystectomy, in a minimally invasive way, with the help of a state-of-the-art surgical robot. Chemotherapy, radiation and other surgical procedures, or a combination of these therapies, also are used to treat this cancer.
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