Bladder cancer forms in the tissues of the bladder, the hollow, muscular organ that holds and stores urine in the body. There are different types of bladder cancer, the most common of which include:

  • Transitional cell carcinoma: cancer that starts in the lining of the bladder
  • Squamous cell carcinoma: cancer than begins in the thin, flat squamous cells
  • Adenocarcinoma: cancer that starts in the mucous-producing cells of the bladder

Bladder Cancer Symptoms

Blood in the urine is often the first and most common symptom of bladder cancer. Other symptoms may include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Incontinence
  • Pain when urinating

Bladder Cancer Diagnosis

  • If a doctor suspects bladder cancer after taking a complete medical history and performing an exam, a urinanalysis may be ordered to test for blood cells and a urine cytology to test for discarded cancer cells.
  • Cystoscopy is the preferred examination method, during which a cystoscope — a long, thin tube with a camera — is inserted into the bladder to visualize any abnormalities. A biopsy of bladder tissue may be taken to confirm a diagnosis.
  • A computed tomography (CT) scan may also be ordered to check for problems in the bladder and surrounding organs.

Bladder Cancer Treatment

Treatment depends on the stage or aggressiveness of the cancer. Bladder cancer treatment may include:

  • Surgical removal of the cancerous cells without removing the bladder
  • Surgery to remove the bladder
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy

Valley offers comprehensive bladder cancer treatment through its Urologic Oncology Center.