Each year, almost 71,000 new cases of bladder cancer are diagnosed in this country. Men, Caucasians and smokers have twice the risk of bladder cancer as the general population. Almost all the people who develop bladder cancer are over 55 years old. When it is diagnosed and treated in the early stages, bladder cancer is usually highly treatable.
The bladder is a hollow organ in the lower abdomen. It stores urine, the waste that is produced when the kidneys filter the blood. The bladder has an elastic and muscular wall that allows it to get larger and smaller as urine is stored or emptied.
Urine passes from the two kidneys into the bladder through tubes called ureters. Urine leaves the bladder through another tube called the urethra. The urethra is longer in men than women. Bladder cancer begins in the inside layer of the bladder and grows into the walls, becoming more difficult to treat.
At Banner MD Anderson, you receive personalized bladder cancer care from some of the nation’s leading specialists. They focus extraordinary expertise on your treatment and recovery.
Bladder cancer is classified based on the type of cells it contains. There are four types of bladder cancer including urothelial carcinoma, squamous cell bladder cancer adenocarcinoma and other rare subtypes (e.g. small-cell carcinomas of the bladder).
Cancer risk factors include exposure to chemicals or other substances, as well as certain behaviors. They also include things people cannot control, like age and family history.
Blood tests, imaging exams and even surgical procedures are used to check for cancer.
Most cancers have the same symptoms as other, less serious conditions. Still, it’s important to know the signs.