What is Bladder Cancer?

Bladder cancer occurs when there are abnormal, cancerous cells growing in the bladder.

Types of Bladder Cancer

There are several types of bladder cancers, including the following:

  • Transitional cell (urothelial) carcinoma
  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • Adenocarcinoma

Bladder Cancer Causes and Risk Factors

While the exact causes of bladder cancer are not known, there are well-established risk factors for developing the disease. Risk factors for bladder cancer include the following:

  • Cigarette smoking
  • Occupational exposure
  • Chronic bladder irritation
  • Age: 55+
  • Gender: Bladder cancer occurs about three times more often in men than in women.
  • Family history

Bladder Cancer Symptoms

The following are the most common symptoms of bladder cancer:

  • Visible blood in the urine
  • Painful urination
  • Frequent urination

Diagnosing Bladder Cancer

In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, your doctor may order some of the following procedures for bladder cancer diagnosis or staging:

Once bladder cancer is diagnosed, your doctor will determine the grade and stage of the cancer.

Stages of Bladder Cancer

  • Stage 0. Cancer cells are found only on the inner lining of the bladder. This is also called superficial cancer or carcinoma in situ.
  • Stage I. Cancer cells are found deep in the lining of the bladder, but have not invaded the bladder muscle.
  • Stage II. Cancer cells are present in the muscle of the bladder.
  • Stage III. Cancer cells have spread through the bladder muscle into the tissues around the bladder, such as the prostate in men or the uterus in women.
  • Stage IV. Cancer has progressed further into the abdominal cavity, and may have spread to lymph nodes and other organs in the body.

Bladder Cancer Treatment

Treatment for bladder cancer may include the following:

The long-term prognosis for individuals with bladder cancer depends on the size of the tumor, lymph node involvement, and degree of metastasis (spreading) at the time of diagnosis.

For more information on bladder cancer treatment or to schedule an appointment, contact Christian Hospital at 314.747.9355 or toll-free at 877.747.9355 or email us.