Bladder cancer is when abnormal tissue grows in the bladder lining, a tumor. In some instances, the tumor can spread inside the bladder muscle. Blood urine is the most common symptom of bladder cancer and if you notice any blood in your urine, consult a doctor immediately.
Bladder cancer is common in older adults (over 60), and men are more likely to develop cancer.
Bladder cancer types
The spread of the tumor is only visible through diagnoses. When the cancerous cell is inside the lining of the bladder, doctors identify it as non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer or early bladder cancer.
When cancer spreads beyond the lining of the surrounding bladder muscle, it is known as muscle-invasive bladder cancer or invasive bladder cancer, the less common type but still has a higher chance of spreading to other parts. When the bladder cancer spreads to other body parts, it’s known as metastatic or advanced bladder cancer.
Bladder cancer causes
- Exposure to certain chemicals
- Type 2 diabetes
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
- Bladder stones
- Schistosomiasis (untreated infection)
Bladder cancer treatments
If it’s non-muscle-invasive-bladder cancer, it’s possible to remove the cancerous cells through transurethral resection of a bladder tumor or TURBT, a surgical technique that leaves the rest of the bladder intact.
If it’s muscle-invasive-bladder cancer, it might involve removing the bladder surgically with an operation known as a cystectomy.
Chemotherapy and radiotherapy can also be a part of treating bladder cancer.
Reviewed by – Dr. Priyanka, MBBS MD Microbiology
Page last reviewed: 23 JUNE 2022