What is Bladder Cancer?
Bladder cancer is a type of cancer that begins in your bladder. Your bladder is a balloon-shaped organ in your pelvic area that stores urine. In most cases, bladder cancer begins in the cells that line the inside of the bladder. Fortunately, the great majority of bladder cancers are diagnosed at an early stage - when bladder cancer is highly treatable.
What are the Symptoms of Bladder Cancer?
Some of the symptoms of bladder cancer may include:
- Blood in urine (hematuria)
- Frequent urination
- Painful urination
- Back pain
- Pelvic pain
How is Bladder Cancer Diagnosed?
Along with a physical examination, your physician may perform the following tests to confirm a bladder cancer diagnosis:
- Removing a sample of the bladder tissue (biopsy)
- Urine cytology (analysis of urine for abnormal cells)
- Imaging tests
Stages of Bladder Cancer
Cancer at this stage occurs in the bladder's inner lining but hasn't invaded the muscular bladder wall.
Cancer has invaded the bladder wall but is still confined to the bladder.
The cancer cells have spread through the bladder wall to surrounding tissue.
By this stage, cancer cells may have spread to the lymph nodes and other organs, such as your bones, liver or lungs.
How is Bladder Cancer Treated?
Treatment for bladder cancer varies depending on the type and stage of the cancer, your overall health, and your treatment preferences. Some of the options include:
- Radiation therapy
- Immunotherapy (using your body's own immune system to help fight cancer)