Banner Health
Making healthcare easier

Bladder Cancer

Back To Cancer Types

At Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center, patients receive personalized care from some of the nation’s leading bladder cancer specialists. Banner MD Anderson is committed to providing extraordinary care throughout a patient’s treatment and recovery.

What Is Bladder Cancer?

The bladder is a hollow organ located in the pelvis. It stores urine (the waste produced when the kidneys filter blood). The bladder is part of the urinary tract, which includes the kidney, ureters and urethra.

Bladder cancer is a relatively common form of cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates 80,470 adults will be newly diagnosed with bladder cancer this year in the United States. This makes bladder cancer the fourth most common cancer in men and the fifth most common cancer in women. Most often, bladder cancer affects patients 55 years old or older.

Bladder cancer begins in the lining of the bladder. Treatment is most effective when bladder cancer is diagnosed and treated in the early stages. When bladder cancer grows into the walls or other organs, it becomes more difficult to treat. 

What Kind of Doctor Treats Bladder Cancer?

A urologist is a physician who specializes in diagnosing and treating diseases of the urinary tract in men and women. Patients may be referred to a urologist if their physician suspects they may need treatment for bladder cancer.

What Causes Bladder Cancer?

You may be at a higher risk of developing bladder cancer due to your lifestyle, age or genetics. Men are four times more likely to get bladder cancer than women. If you have risk factors, including being a smoker or over age 65, talk to your doctor about prevention and testing.

Banner MD Anderson focuses on the whole person when it comes to cancer care. We’re here for you every step of the way - from symptoms to treatment and everything in between. If you have risk factors or symptoms of bladder cancer, considering making an appointment with Banner MD Anderson’s caring team of health care professionals.

Learn more about bladder cancer causes, risk factors and prevention.

What Are the Types and Symptoms of Bladder Cancer?

There are three main types of bladder cancer. Urothelial carcinoma, which is by far the most common, starts in the bladder’s walls. Squamous cell is less frequent but more aggressive and forms in the bladder after long-term irritation. Adenocarcinoma develops in the inner lining of the bladder and tends to be aggressive. In general, blood in the urine is the first symptom of bladder cancer. Other symptoms include frequent and painful urination and other changes in bladder habits.

Learn more about the signs, symptoms, and types of bladder cancer.

How is Bladder Cancer Diagnosed?

Testing helps diagnose a patient’s stage of bladder cancer. Testing may include urine and blood tests, cystoscopy, which is a procedure to look inside the bladder using a thin camera called a cystoscope, or imaging tests such as CT or MRI.

Learn more about bladder cancer testing and diagnosis.

What Treatments are Available for Bladder Cancer?

Treatment for bladder cancer depends on the type, grade and stage of cancer. Treatment may include surgery, radiation therapy, immunotherapy or chemotherapy.

Learn more about bladder cancer treatment and support.

Request an appointment