Bladder Cancer

The most common type of bladder cancer is transitional cell carcinoma, also called urothelial carcinoma. Smoking is a major risk factor for bladder cancer.

Bladder cancer is often diagnosed at an early stage. Explore the links on this page to learn more about bladder cancer treatment, screening, statistics, research, and clinical trials.

There are two types of bladder cancer:

  • Superficial (non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer) known as NMIBC NMIBC (non-muscle invasive bladder cancer):- Knowing the stage and grade of the tumor helps your doctor decide how to treat your cancer. Transurethral resection of bladder tumor (TURBT) is a very effective modality for the treatment of such cancers. Urologist use special endoscope instrument for this procedure. This tool has a small loop of wire at the end that can remove a tumor. The loop also cauterizes (seals off) the blood vessels to help stop any bleeding. TURBT offers a way to get to the bladder without cutting through the abdomen. Instead, the small tool goes through the urethra and into the bladder. The urologist may want to repeat TURBT in 4-6 weeks. This can give more information about your tumor.
  • Deep (muscle involving bladder cancer) known as MIBC For MIBC:- patient requires multimodality treatment including surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy if required. Urologists usually remove the whole bladder (radical cystectomy) and create a new pathway for urine to drain (urinary diversion). This is a major surgery that removes the bladder and nearby lymph nodes. In men, it almost always includes removing the prostate. In women, it usually includes removing the uterus, Fallopian tubes, Ovaries, Cervix, part of the vagina.

Hematuria is the name for blood in the urine. It’s the most common sign of bladder cancer.

When you can see blood in your urine, this is gross hematuria. A urinalysis is a test that can show tiny amounts of blood—so tiny that you may not be able to see it. This is microscopic hematuria. Doctors may do this test as part of a routine checkup.

  • Smoking: Being a smoker puts you at the greatest risk. Smokers have 3-4 times more risk of getting bladder cancer than people who don’t smoke.
  • Race: Whites are twice as likely to get bladder cancer as African Americans or Hispanics. Asians have the lowest rate of bladder cancer.
  • Age: The risk of bladder cancer increases as you get older.
  • Gender: Men get bladder cancer more often.
  • Past bladder cancer: People who have had bladder cancer have a higher risk of getting another tumor in their urinary system.
  • Birth defects of the bladder.
  • Environment Contaminants: Studies link arsenic in drinking water to a higher risk of bladder cancer. Studies also link some chemicals to bladder cancer. People who work with them may have a higher risk. These chemicals are used to make rubber, leather, printing materials, textiles, dye, and paint products.

How is it diagnosed?

Usually established by doctor with help of:
  • Urine microscopy
  • Urine cytology
  • Ultrasound Abdomen
Bladder Cancer

How is it treated?

An ileal conduit is one method to allow urine to leave your body. After removing the bladder, the surgeon:

  • Creates a small opening in the abdomen called a stoma (mouth) or ostomy.
  • Connects one end of the ileum (a short piece of the small intestine) to the new stoma.
  • Attaches the ureters to the other end of the ileal conduit now the urine travels from the ureters into the newly formed ileal conduit, through the stoma and out of the body.
  • The conduit then propels urine into the bag. This is because the surgery saves the nerves and blood supply. People learn how to place a urostomy bag over the stoma to collect urine. They wear the bag around the stoma (outside the body) 24 hours a day. Then they empty the urine into the toilet as the bag fills. Ostomies are common today. Special ostomy nurses help people learn how to use them. In time, using an ileal conduit becomes routine.

A neobladder (or orthotopic neobladder) is another type of urinary diversion. After removing the bladder, the surgeon:

  • Uses part of the small intestine to form a new (neo) bladder.
  • Attaches the neobladder to the ureters and urethra. Now the urine passes from the kidneys to the neobladder. People learn to tense their abdominal muscles and relax certain pelvic muscles to control this new bladder. Then urine flows through the urethra and into the toilet. The neobladder is the closest thing to a “normal” bladder. And unlike the ileal conduit, it doesn’t require an ostomy. You may need to use a catheter to drain the neobladder.

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