Bladder Fibrosis

Author: OncoLink Team
Last Reviewed:

What is bladder fibrosis?

Bladder fibrosis is the medical term used to describe scarring and hardening of the tissue in the bladder. Some treatments for cancer can cause the bladder to become irritated. This can lead to scarring, which makes the bladder walls thicker. This can stop the bladder from working the way it should. Bladder fibrosis can also happen to adults who were treated for cancer as children. Fibrosis can cause problems with storing urine (pee) or draining the bladder.

Signs of bladder fibrosis can be:

  • Having a hard time draining or emptying the bladder.
  • Urine leaking out.
  • Blood in the urine.

An ultrasound of the bladder is often needed to check for any bladder changes that are taking place. 

How is bladder fibrosis managed?

Ways to treat bladder fibrosis involve exercises and, in some cases, surgery. Exercises (kegel exercises) can increase how much urine your bladder can hold and can build muscle strength. Surgery can be done to make the bladder bigger. If you are unable to hold your urine, you will be given ways to help with this problem.  

When should I contact my care team?

Contact your care team if you are having trouble emptying the bladder, are unable to hold your urine, or if there is blood in your urine.

References

MacMillan Cancer Support. Changes after Pelvic Radiotherapy. https://www.macmillan.org.uk/information-and-support/coping/side-effects-and-symptoms/late-effects-pelvic-radiotherapy/bladder-changes.html

Healthline. Retroperitoneal Fibrosis: Symptoms, Risks and Treatment. https://www.healthline.com/health/retroperitoneal-fibrosis#treatments

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