Bladder Cancer

Definition of bladder cancer: Cancer that forms in tissues of the bladder (the organ that stores urine). Most bladder cancers are transitional cell carcinomas (cancer that begins in cells that normally make up the inner lining of the bladder). Other types include squamous cell carcinoma (cancer that begins in thin, flat cells) and adenocarcinoma (cancer that begins in cells that make and release mucus and other fluids). The cells that form squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma develop in the inner lining of the bladder as a result of chronic irritation and inflammation.

Estimated new cases of bladder cancer in the United States in 2016: 76,960

Incidence rates for Hispanics, American Indians/Alaska Natives, and Asians/Pacific Islanders are lower than those for whites and African Americans. Overall, men are about four times more likely than women to be diagnosed with bladder cancer.

Smoking is the most important risk factor for bladder cancer. Other risk factors include having a family history of or gene mutations linked to bladder cancer, occupational exposure to certain chemicals used in processing paint, dye, metal and petroleum products, taking certain chemotherapy drugs, drinking well water contaminated with arsenic, taking the Chinese herb Aristolochia fangchi, and chronic urinary tract infections (including those caused by Schistosoma haematobium). Although there is no standard or routine screening test for bladder cancer, cystoscopy (a procedure used to see inside the urinary bladder and urethra) and urine cytology (a test to look for abnormal cells in urine) are used in patients who have previously had bladder cancer. Standard treatments for bladder cancer are surgery,radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and biological therapy.

The following stages are used for bladder cancer:

Stage 0 (Papillary Carcinoma And Carcinoma In Situ)

In stage 0, abnormal cells are found in tissue lining the inside of the bladder. These abnormal cells may become cancer and spread into nearby normal tissue. Stage 0 is divided into stage 0a and stage 0is, depending on the type of the tumor:

Stage I

In stage I, cancer has formed and spread to the layer of connective tissue next to the inner lining of the bladder.

Stage II

In stage II, cancer has spread to the layers of muscle tissue of the bladder.

Stage III

In stage III, cancer has spread from the bladder to the layer of fat surrounding it and may have spread to the reproductive organs (prostate, seminal vesicles, uterus, or vagina).

Stage IV

In stage IV, one or more of the following is true:

All information was taken from the NCI (National Cancer Institute)