- Transitional cell (urothelial) carcinoma—more than 90% of bladder cancers
- Squamous cell carcinoma—about 4% of bladder cancers
- Adenocarcinoma—about 1%-2% of bladder cancers
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- Increasing age: The majority of people with bladder cancer are between 65 and 85 years old.
Occupation (due to exposure to certain substances)
Those at risk include:
- Rubber, leather, and textile workers
- Truck drivers
- Petroleum industry workers
- Those at risk include:
- Race: White
- Sex: male
- Chronic bladder inflammation or infection (such as schistosomiasis, an infection caused by a parasitic worm)
- Personal or family history of bladder cancer
- Chemotherapeutic drugs: cyclophosphamide and ifosfamide
- Exposure to arsenic
- Radiation treatment of the pelvis
- Bladder birth defects
- Chemicals (such as nitrosamines, benzidine)
- Urinary stones for many years
- In-dwelling catheter for many years
- Bladder diverticuli: an area of weakness in the bladder wall through which some of the lining of the bladder is forced out
- Metastasis from another cancer
- Blood in the urine (hematuria)
- Frequent urination, or feeling the need to urinate without being able
- Painful urination
- Lower back pain
- Weight loss, bone pain, or abdominal pain in advanced cases
- Your doctor may need to examine your urine. This can be done with:
- Urine cytology
- Urine culture
- Your doctor may to look at your bladder and the surrounding area. This can be done with:
- Your doctor may also order a biopsy to remove a sample of bladder tissue to test for cancer cells.
- Stage 0: cancer cells are found only on the surface of the inner lining of the bladder.
- Stage 1: cancer cells are found deep in the inner lining of the bladder; no lymph nodes are involved.
- Stage 2: cancer cells have spread to the muscle of the bladder; no lymph nodes are involved.
- Stage 3: cancer cells have spread through the muscular wall of the bladder to the layer of tissue surrounding the bladder OR possibly to the reproductive organs including the prostate glands; no lymph nodes are involved.
- Stage 4: cancer cells extending outside the bladder to the wall of the abdomen or to the wall of the pelvis without lymph node involvement OR have spread to one or more lymph nodes and other parts of the body.
- Transurethral resection—This is done for early stage or superficial bladder cancer. A cystoscope is placed into the bladder through the urethra. A small wire loop at the end of the cystoscope is used to remove cancer cells. Fulguration (using electrical current to burn away remaining cancer cells) can be done during this procedure.
- Cystectomy (surgical removal of all or part of the bladder)—This is done when bladder cancer is invasive. Segmental (partial) cystectomy is the removal of part of the bladder. Radical cystectomy is the removal of the entire bladder and nearby lymph nodes. In men, the prostate is usually also removed. In women, the uterus, ovaries, part of the vagina, and the fallopian tubes might also be removed. A form of urinary diversion must be created to store the urine if the bladder is removed.
- External radiation therapy—Radiation is directed at the tumor from a source outside the body.
- Internal radiation therapy—Radioactive materials are placed near the cancer cells in the bladder through the urethra or through an incision in the abdomen.
Biologic Therapy (Immunotherapy)
- Don't smoke or use tobacco products. If you do, quit.
- Avoid or minimize occupational exposure to certain chemicals; follow good work safety practices.
- Eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
- Avoid excess intake of high fat or high cholesterol.
- Minimize the use of phenacetin, a medication.
American Cancer Society http://www.cancer.org
National Cancer Institute http://www.cancer.gov
BC Cancer Agency http://www.bccancer.bc.ca
Canadian Cancer Society http://www.cancer.ca
Abeloff MD, Armitage JO, et al, eds. Clinical Oncology. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Churchill Livingstone, Elsevier; 2004.
Bladder cancer (PDQ): treatment patient version. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/bladder/Patient/allpages/print. Updated August 24, 2012. Accessed November 15, 2012.
Casciato DA. Manual of Clinical Oncology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2004.
Detailed guide: Bladder cancer. American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/docroot/CRI/CRI%5F2%5F3x.asp?rnav=cridg&dt=44. Accessed November 15, 2012.
Soloway M, Carmack A, et al, eds. First International Consultation on Bladder Tumors. Paris, France: Editions 21;2006.
Torpy JM. Bladder cancer. JAMA . 2005;293(7):890. Available at: http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/293/7/890. Accessed November 15, 2012.
Wein A, ed. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders, Elsevier; 2007.
What you need to know about bladder cancer. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/wyntk/bladder/allpages. Updated August 30, 2010. Accessed November 15, 2012.
- Reviewer: Mohei Abouzied, MD
- Review Date: 11/2012 -
- Update Date: 11/15/2012 -