Call us 1-800-670-0715
Cancer Types

Bladder Cancer

Bladder Cancer Facts

What is Bladder Cancer?

The bladder is an expandable, hollow organ in the pelvis that stores urine (the body's liquid waste) before it leaves the body during urination. The urinary tract, made up of the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra, is lined with a layer of transitional cells called the urothelium. This layer of cells is separated from the bladder muscles (called the muscularis propria) by a thin, fibrous band called the lamina propria. The lamina propria separates tumors that have spread into muscle (called invasive cancer) from those that have not (superficial or non-invasive cancers).

Bladder cancers are malignant tumors that begin in the bladder. Different bladder cancers are described by how deep they grow and if they grow into the bladder or through the muscles around the bladder (superficial or invasive).

There are three types of bladder cancer:

  • transitional cell carcinoma, or TCC (about 90% of bladder cancer cases)
  • squamous cell carcinomas (about 8%)
  • adenocarcinomas (about 2%).

There are other less common types of cancer that arise in the bladder, including sarcomas (which begin in the muscle layers of the bladder) and small cell anaplastic cancers (a rare type very likely to spread to other parts of the body).

All three types can metastasize beyond the bladder. The tumor can grow into the surrounding organs (uterus and vagina in women; prostate in men), called locally advanced disease. It can also spread to the nearby lymph nodes, and/or into the liver, bones, or lungs; this is called distant metastasis. In some cases, it can spread to other parts of the body.

As we well know, there are many kinds of cancer; unfortunately they all come about because of the out-of-control growth of abnormal cells.

Bladder Cancer At A Glance

  • While the exact cause(s) of bladder cancer is not known, risk factors have been identified
  • The most common warning sign of bladder cancer is blood in the urine
  • The diagnosis of bladder cancer is supported by findings of the medical history and examination, blood, urine, and x-ray tests, and confirmed with a biopsy (usually during a cystoscope exam)
  • Treatment of bladder cancer depends on the growth, size, and location of the tumor as well as the age and health of the patient

Bladder Cancer Risk Factors

Smoking, gender, and diet can affect the risk of developing bladder cancer. Risk factors include the following:

  • Smoking
  • Being exposed to certain substances at work, such as rubber, certain dyes and textiles, paint, and hairdressing supplies
  • A diet high in fried meats and fat
  • Being older, male, or white
  • Having an infection caused by a certain parasite

Bladder Cancer, What to Look For

Possible signs of bladder cancer include blood in the urine or pain during urination. These and other symptoms may be caused by bladder cancer or by other conditions. A doctor should be consulted if any of the following problems occur:

  • Blood in the urine (slightly rusty to bright red in color)
  • Frequent urination, or feeling the need to urinate without being able to do so
  • Pain during urination
  • Lower back pain

What is hematuria?

Hematuria means blood in the urine. Microscopic hematuria indicates that the blood is only seen when the urine is examined under a microscope, while gross hematuria means that there is enough blood in the urine so that it can be seen with the naked eye. Despite the quantity of blood in the urine being different, the types of diagnoses that can cause the problem are the same, and the workup or evaluation that is needed is identical.

Since blood in the urine must come from one of the organs involved in making or transporting the urine, the evaluation of hematuria requires that we consider the entire urinary tract. This organ system includes the kidneys, ureter (the tube that carries the urine from the kidney to the bladder), bladder, prostate, or urethra (tube leading out of the bladder). It must be emphasized that even a single episode of hematuria requires evaluation, even if it resolves spontaneously.

What are the causes of hematuria?

There are multiple causes of hematuria. Some are serious, including cancers, trauma, stones, infections, and obstructions of the urinary tract. Others are less important, and may require no treatment. These may include viral infections, nonspecific inflammations of the kidney, medications which thin the blood's clotting ability, and benign prostate enlargement.

How is hematuria evaluated?

The evaluation for hematuria consists of taking a history, performing a physical examination, evaluating the urine under a microscope, and finally, obtaining a culture of the urine. A significant history would include whether or not there was any pain or discomfort associated with the hematuria; whether the blood was in the beginning, end, or throughout the urinary stream; and finally, whether there is a personal history of smoking, kidney stones, injuries to the urinary tract, trouble urinating, or previous urologic evaluation.

No matter how obvious the reason for hematuria appears to be, a complete evaluation is almost always necessary to rule out a serious underlying disease, such as a cancer. There are usually three diagnostic tests necessary to give us a look at the entire urinary tract, and these include the intravenous pyelogram (IVP), cystoscopy, and urine cytology.

The intravenous pyelogram, or IVP, is an x-ray evaluation of the urinary tract. In this procedure, a dye is injected into the veins, and this is filtered by the urinary tract. A series of x-rays are then taken over a thirty-minute period, looking for abnormalities. This study is especially useful for evaluating the kidneys and ureter, but not the bladder, prostate, or urethra. Therefore, a second examination called a cystoscopy is necessary. In this procedure, a small viewing tube, or cystoscope, is used to visually inspect the bladder and the urethra. In most instances, this can be done without discomfort by the use of local anesthetic jelly. The cystoscope is passed up the urethra into the bladder, and the inspection is carried out. The entire examination takes less than ten minutes. The final test is a urine cytology, which involves voiding urine into a cup and having that urine examined by a pathologist to look for cancer cells.

How is hematuria treated?

Management of hematuria depends upon the underlying cause. Many times a cause cannot be found, which is fortunate, because it generally suggests that there is not a harmful situation present. Remember that the real reason for a hematuria workup is not to prove a specific cause, but to rule out a serious problem. If no cause is found for the hematuria, the urine should be checked on a yearly basis to make certain that no changes are occurring. However, if gross hematuria were to recur, repeat evaluation may be necessary, and a physician should be consulted. A blood test to check kidney function and a blood pressure check should be done as well. Men over fifty should have a yearly PSA, or prostate specific antigen, to screen for prostate cancer.

Further discussion of the treatment for hematuria would depend upon the results of the previously mentioned workup and the exact cause for the hematuria. The urologist who performs this examination would direct any further treatment or workup that would be necessary.

Bladder Cancer Tests

Tests that examine the urine, vagina, or rectum are used to help detect (find) and diagnose bladder cancer. After bladder cancer has been diagnosed, some of the same tests can be used to find out if cancer cells have spread within the bladder or to other parts of the body.

The following tests and procedures may be used:

Biopsy: The removal of cells or tissues so they can be viewed under a microscope to check for signs of cancer. A biopsy for bladder cancer is usually done during cystoscopy. It may be possible to remove the entire tumor during biopsy.

Bone Scan: A procedure to check if there are rapidly dividing cells, such as cancer cells, in the bone. A very small amount of radioactive material is injected into a vein and travels through the bloodstream. The radioactive material collects in the bones and is detected by a scanner.

CT Scan (CAT Scan): A procedure that makes a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body, taken from different angles. The pictures are made by a computer linked to an x-ray machine. A dye may be injected into a vein or swallowed to help the organs or tissues show up more clearly. This procedure is also called computed tomography, computerized tomography, or computerized axial tomography.

Chest X-Ray: An x-ray of the organs and bones inside the chest. An x-ray is a type of energy beam that can go through the body and onto film, making a picture of areas inside the body.

Cystoscopy: A procedure to look inside the bladder and urethra to check for abnormal areas. A cystoscope (a thin, lighted tube) is inserted through the urethra into the bladder. Tissue samples may be taken for biopsy.

Internal exam: An exam of the vagina and/or rectum. The doctor inserts gloved fingers into the vagina and/or rectum to feel for lumps.

Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP): A series of x-rays of the kidneys, ureters, and bladder to find out if cancer has spread to these organs. A contrast dye is injected into a vein. As the contrast dye moves through the kidneys, ureters, and bladder, x-rays are taken to see if there are any blockages.

MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging): A procedure that uses a magnet, radio waves, and a computer to make a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body. This procedure is also called nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (NMRI).

Physical exam and history: An exam of the body to check general signs of health, including checking for signs of disease, such as lumps or anything else that seems unusual. A history of the patient's health habits and past illnesses and treatments will also be taken.

Urinalysis: A test to check the color of urine and its contents, such as sugar, protein, blood, and bacteria.

Urine Cytology: Examination of urine under a microscope to check for abnormal cells.

Bladder Cancer Stages

The process used to find out if cancer has spread within the bladder lining and muscle or to other parts of the body is called staging. The information gathered from the staging process determines the stage of the disease. It is important to know the stage in order to plan treatment.

– Stage 0 (Carcinoma in Situ)

In Stage 0, the cancer is found on tissue lining the inside of the bladder only. Stage 0 is divided into stage 0-A and stage 0-IS, depending on the type of the tumor:

Stage 0-A is also called papillary carcinoma, which may look like tiny mushrooms growing from the lining of the bladder.

Stage 0-IS is also called Carcinoma in Situ, which is a flat tumor on the tissue lining the inside of the bladder.

Treatment of Stage 0 bladder cancer may include the following:

  • Transurethral resection with fulguration
  • Transurethral resection with fulguration followed by intravesical biologic therapy or chemotherapy
  • Segmental cystectomy
  • Radical cystectomy
  • A clinical trial of photodynamic therapy
  • A clinical trial of biologic therapy
  • A clinical trial of chemoprevention therapy given after treatment to stop cancer from recurring (coming back)

– Stage I

In Stage I, the cancer has spread to the layer below the inner lining of the bladder.

Treatment of Stage I bladder cancer may include the following:

  • Transurethral resection with fulguration
  • Transurethral resection with fulguration followed by intravesical biologic therapy or chemotherapy
  • Segmental or radical cystectomy
  • Radiation implants with or without external radiation therapy
  • A clinical trial of chemoprevention therapy given after treatment to stop cancer from recurring (coming back)
  • A clinical trial of intravesical therapy

– Stage II

In Stage II, cancer has spread to either the inner half or outer half of the muscle wall of the bladder.

Treatment of Stage II bladder cancer may include the following:

  • Radical cystectomy with or without surgery to remove pelvic lymph nodes
  • External radiation therapy combined with chemotherapy
  • Radiation implants before or after external radiation therapy
  • Transurethral resection with fulguration
  • Segmental cystectomy
  • A clinical trial of chemotherapy before or after surgery
  • A clinical trial of chemotherapy combined with external radiation therapy

– Stage III

In Stage III, cancer has spread from the bladder to the fatty layer of tissue surrounding it, and may have spread to the reproductive organs (prostate, uterus, vagina).

Treatment of Stage III bladder cancer may include the following:

  • Radical cystectomy
  • External radiation therapy with or without radiation implants
  • Segmental cystectomy
  • External radiation therapy combined with chemotherapy
  • A clinical trial of chemotherapy before or after surgery
  • A clinical trial of chemotherapy combined with external radiation therapy

– Stage IV

In Stage IV, cancer has spread from the bladder to the wall of the abdomen or pelvis. Cancer may have spread to one or more lymph nodes or to other parts of the body.

Treatment of Stage IV bladder cancer may include the following:

  • Radical cystectomy
  • External radiation therapy (may be as palliative therapy to relieve symptoms and improve quality of life)
  • Urinary diversion as palliative therapy to relieve symptoms and improve quality of life
  • Cystectomy as palliative therapy to relieve symptoms and improve quality of life
  • Chemotherapy
  • A clinical trial of chemotherapy before or after surgery
  • A clinical trial of chemotherapy combined with external radiation therapy

Types of Bladder Cancer Treatments

There are different types of treatment for patients with bladder cancer. Some treatments are standard (the currently used treatment), and some are being tested in clinical trials. Before starting treatment, patients may want to think about taking part in a clinical trial. A treatment clinical trial is a research study meant to help improve current treatments or obtain information on new treatments for patients with cancer. When clinical trials show that a new treatment is better than the “standard” treatment, the new treatment may become the standard treatment.

Standard treatments that are used:

– Surgery

One of the following types of surgery may be performed:

Transurethral resection (TUR) with fulguration:

Surgery in which a cystoscope (a thin lighted tube) is inserted into the bladder through the urethra. A tool with a small wire loop on the end is then used to remove the cancer or to burn the tumor away with high-energy electricity. This is known as fulguration.

Radical cystectomy:

Surgery to remove the bladder and any lymph nodes and nearby organs that contain cancer. This surgery may be done when the bladder cancer invades the muscle wall, or when superficial cancer involves a large part of the bladder. In men, the nearby organs that are removed are the prostate and the seminal vesicles. In women, the uterus, the ovaries, and part of the vagina are removed. Sometimes, when the cancer has spread outside the bladder and cannot be completely removed, surgery to remove only the bladder may be done to reduce urinary symptoms caused by the cancer. When the bladder must be removed, the surgeon creates another way for urine to leave the body.

Segmental cystectomy:

Surgery to remove part of the bladder. This surgery may be done for patients who have a low-grade tumor that has invaded the wall of the bladder but is limited to one area of the bladder. Because most of the bladder remains intact, a patient is able to urinate normally after recovering from this surgery.

Urinary diversion:

Surgery to make a new way for the body to store and pass urine.

Even if the doctor removes all the cancer that can be seen at the time of the surgery, some patients may be given chemotherapy after surgery to kill any cancer cells that are left. Treatment given after surgery, to increase the chances of a cure, is called adjuvant therapy.

– Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy is a cancer treatment that uses high-energy x-rays or other types of radiation to kill cancer cells. There are two types of radiation therapy. External radiation therapy uses a machine outside the body to send radiation toward the cancer. Internal radiation therapy uses a radioactive substance sealed in needles, seeds, wires, or catheters that are placed directly into or near the cancer. The way the radiation therapy is given depends on the type and stage of the cancer being treated.

– Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is a cancer treatment that uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping the cells from dividing. When chemotherapy is taken by mouth or injected into a vein or muscle, the drugs enter the bloodstream and can reach cancer cells throughout the body (systemic chemotherapy). When chemotherapy is placed directly into the spinal column, a body cavity such as the abdomen, or an organ, the drugs mainly affect cancer cells in those areas. Bladder cancer may be treated with intravesical (into the bladder through a tube inserted into the urethra) chemotherapy. The way the chemotherapy is given depends on the type and stage of the cancer being treated.

Bladder Cancer Risk Factors

Bladder Cancer Risk Factors

Smoking, gender, and diet can affect the risk of developing bladder cancer. Risk factors include the following:

  • Smoking
  • Being exposed to certain substances at work, such as rubber, certain dyes and textiles, paint, and hairdressing supplies
  • A diet high in fried meats and fat
  • Being older, male, or white
  • Having an infection caused by a certain parasite

What to Look for

Bladder Cancer, What to look for.

Possible signs of bladder cancer include blood in the urine or pain during urination. These and other symptoms may be caused by bladder cancer or by other conditions. A doctor should be consulted if any of the following problems occur:

  • Blood in the urine (slightly rusty to bright red in color)
  • Frequent urination, or feeling the need to urinate without being able to do so
  • Pain during urination
  • Lower back pain

What is hematuria?

Hematuria means blood in the urine. Microscopic hematuria indicates that the blood is only seen when the urine is examined under a microscope, while gross hematuria means that there is enough blood in the urine so that it can be seen with the naked eye. Despite the quantity of blood in the urine being different, the types of diagnoses that can cause the problem are the same, and the workup or evaluation that is needed is identical.

Since blood in the urine must come from one of the organs involved in making or transporting the urine, the evaluation of hematuria requires that we consider the entire urinary tract. This organ system includes the kidneys, ureter (the tube that carries the urine from the kidney to the bladder), bladder, prostate, or urethra (tube leading out of the bladder). It must be emphasized that even a single episode of hematuria requires evaluation, even if it resolves spontaneously.

What are the causes of hematuria?

There are multiple causes of hematuria. Some are serious, including cancers, trauma, stones, infections, and obstructions of the urinary tract. Others are less important, and may require no treatment. These may include viral infections, nonspecific inflammations of the kidney, medications which thin the blood's clotting ability, and benign prostate enlargement.

How is hematuria evaluated?

The evaluation for hematuria consists of taking a history, performing a physical examination, evaluating the urine under a microscope, and finally, obtaining a culture of the urine. A significant history would include whether or not there was any pain or discomfort associated with the hematuria; whether the blood was in the beginning, end, or throughout the urinary stream; and finally, whether there is a personal history of smoking, kidney stones, injuries to the urinary tract, trouble urinating, or previous urologic evaluation.

No matter how obvious the reason for hematuria appears to be, a complete evaluation is almost always necessary to rule out a serious underlying disease, such as a cancer. There are usually three diagnostic tests necessary to give us a look at the entire urinary tract, and these include the intravenous pyelogram (IVP), cystoscopy, and urine cytology.

The intravenous pyelogram, or IVP, is an x-ray evaluation of the urinary tract. In this procedure, a dye is injected into the veins, and this is filtered by the urinary tract. A series of x-rays are then taken over a thirty-minute period, looking for abnormalities. This study is especially useful for evaluating the kidneys and ureter, but not the bladder, prostate, or urethra. Therefore, a second examination called a cystoscopy is necessary. In this procedure, a small viewing tube, or cystoscope, is used to visually inspect the bladder and the urethra. In most instances, this can be done without discomfort by the use of local anesthetic jelly. The cystoscope is passed up the urethra into the bladder, and the inspection is carried out. The entire examination takes less than ten minutes. The final test is a urine cytology, which involves voiding urine into a cup and having that urine examined by a pathologist to look for cancer cells.

How is hematuria treated?

Management of hematuria depends upon the underlying cause. Many times a cause cannot be found, which is fortunate, because it generally suggests that there is not a harmful situation present. Remember that the real reason for a hematuria workup is not to prove a specific cause, but to rule out a serious problem. If no cause is found for the hematuria, the urine should be checked on a yearly basis to make certain that no changes are occurring. However, if gross hematuria were to recur, repeat evaluation may be necessary, and a physician should be consulted. A blood test to check kidney function and a blood pressure check should be done as well. Men over fifty should have a yearly PSA, or prostate specific antigen, to screen for prostate cancer.

Further discussion of the treatment for hematuria would depend upon the results of the previously mentioned workup and the exact cause for the hematuria. The urologist who performs this examination would direct any further treatment or workup that would be necessary.

Bladder Cancer Tests

Tests that examine the urine, vagina, or rectum are used to help detect (find) and diagnose bladder cancer. After bladder cancer has been diagnosed, some of the same tests can be used to find out if cancer cells have spread within the bladder or to other parts of the body.

The following tests and procedures may be used:

Biopsy: The removal of cells or tissues so they can be viewed under a microscope to check for signs of cancer. A biopsy for bladder cancer is usually done during cystoscopy. It may be possible to remove the entire tumor during biopsy.

Bone Scan: A procedure to check if there are rapidly dividing cells, such as cancer cells, in the bone. A very small amount of radioactive material is injected into a vein and travels through the bloodstream. The radioactive material collects in the bones and is detected by a scanner.

CT Scan (CAT Scan): A procedure that makes a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body, taken from different angles. The pictures are made by a computer linked to an x-ray machine. A dye may be injected into a vein or swallowed to help the organs or tissues show up more clearly. This procedure is also called computed tomography, computerized tomography, or computerized axial tomography.

Chest X-Ray: An x-ray of the organs and bones inside the chest. An x-ray is a type of energy beam that can go through the body and onto film, making a picture of areas inside the body.

Cystoscopy: A procedure to look inside the bladder and urethra to check for abnormal areas. A cystoscope (a thin, lighted tube) is inserted through the urethra into the bladder. Tissue samples may be taken for biopsy.

Internal exam: An exam of the vagina and/or rectum. The doctor inserts gloved fingers into the vagina and/or rectum to feel for lumps.

Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP): A series of x-rays of the kidneys, ureters, and bladder to find out if cancer has spread to these organs. A contrast dye is injected into a vein. As the contrast dye moves through the kidneys, ureters, and bladder, x-rays are taken to see if there are any blockages.

MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging): A procedure that uses a magnet, radio waves, and a computer to make a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body. This procedure is also called nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (NMRI).

Physical exam and history: An exam of the body to check general signs of health, including checking for signs of disease, such as lumps or anything else that seems unusual. A history of the patient's health habits and past illnesses and treatments will also be taken.

Urinalysis: A test to check the color of urine and its contents, such as sugar, protein, blood, and bacteria.

Urine Cytology: Examination of urine under a microscope to check for abnormal cells.

Stages of Bladder Cancer

The process used to find out if cancer has spread within the bladder lining and muscle or to other parts of the body is called staging. The information gathered from the staging process determines the stage of the disease. It is important to know the stage in order to plan treatment.

– Stage 0 (Carcinoma in Situ)

In Stage 0, the cancer is found on tissue lining the inside of the bladder only. Stage 0 is divided into stage 0-A and stage 0-IS, depending on the type of the tumor:

Stage 0-A is also called papillary carcinoma, which may look like tiny mushrooms growing from the lining of the bladder.

Stage 0-IS is also called Carcinoma in Situ, which is a flat tumor on the tissue lining the inside of the bladder.

Treatment of Stage 0 bladder cancer may include the following:

  • Transurethral resection with fulguration
  • Transurethral resection with fulguration followed by intravesical biologic therapy or chemotherapy
  • Segmental cystectomy
  • Radical cystectomy
  • A clinical trial of photodynamic therapy
  • A clinical trial of biologic therapy
  • A clinical trial of chemoprevention therapy given after treatment to stop cancer from recurring (coming back)

– Stage I

In Stage I, the cancer has spread to the layer below the inner lining of the bladder.

Treatment of Stage I bladder cancer may include the following:

  • Transurethral resection with fulguration
  • Transurethral resection with fulguration followed by intravesical biologic therapy or chemotherapy
  • Segmental or radical cystectomy
  • Radiation implants with or without external radiation therapy
  • A clinical trial of chemoprevention therapy given after treatment to stop cancer from recurring (coming back)
  • A clinical trial of intravesical therapy

– Stage II

In Stage II, cancer has spread to either the inner half or outer half of the muscle wall of the bladder.

Treatment of Stage II bladder cancer may include the following:

  • Radical cystectomy with or without surgery to remove pelvic lymph nodes
  • External radiation therapy combined with chemotherapy
  • Radiation implants before or after external radiation therapy
  • Transurethral resection with fulguration
  • Segmental cystectomy
  • A clinical trial of chemotherapy before or after surgery
  • A clinical trial of chemotherapy combined with external radiation therapy

– Stage III

In Stage III, cancer has spread from the bladder to the fatty layer of tissue surrounding it, and may have spread to the reproductive organs (prostate, uterus, vagina).

Treatment of Stage III bladder cancer may include the following:

  • Radical cystectomy
  • External radiation therapy with or without radiation implants
  • Segmental cystectomy
  • External radiation therapy combined with chemotherapy
  • A clinical trial of chemotherapy before or after surgery
  • A clinical trial of chemotherapy combined with external radiation therapy

– Stage IV

In Stage IV, cancer has spread from the bladder to the wall of the abdomen or pelvis. Cancer may have spread to one or more lymph nodes or to other parts of the body.

Treatment of Stage IV bladder cancer may include the following:

  • Radical cystectomy
  • External radiation therapy (may be as palliative therapy to relieve symptoms and improve quality of life)
  • Urinary diversion as palliative therapy to relieve symptoms and improve quality of life
  • Cystectomy as palliative therapy to relieve symptoms and improve quality of life
  • Chemotherapy
  • A clinical trial of chemotherapy before or after surgery
  • A clinical trial of chemotherapy combined with external radiation therapy

Types of Treatment for Bladder Cancer

There are different types of treatment for patients with bladder cancer

Different types of treatment are available for patients with bladder cancer. Some treatments are standard (the currently used treatment), and some are being tested in clinical trials. Before starting treatment, patients may want to think about taking part in a clinical trial. A treatment clinical trial is a research study meant to help improve current treatments or obtain information on new treatments for patients with cancer. When clinical trials show that a new treatment is better than the “standard” treatment, the new treatment may become the standard treatment.

Standard treatments that are used:

– Surgery

One of the following types of surgery may be performed:

Transurethral resection (TUR) with fulguration:

Surgery in which a cystoscope (a thin lighted tube) is inserted into the bladder through the urethra. A tool with a small wire loop on the end is then used to remove the cancer or to burn the tumor away with high-energy electricity. This is known as fulguration.

Radical cystectomy:

Surgery to remove the bladder and any lymph nodes and nearby organs that contain cancer. This surgery may be done when the bladder cancer invades the muscle wall, or when superficial cancer involves a large part of the bladder. In men, the nearby organs that are removed are the prostate and the seminal vesicles. In women, the uterus, the ovaries, and part of the vagina are removed. Sometimes, when the cancer has spread outside the bladder and cannot be completely removed, surgery to remove only the bladder may be done to reduce urinary symptoms caused by the cancer. When the bladder must be removed, the surgeon creates another way for urine to leave the body.

Segmental cystectomy:

Surgery to remove part of the bladder. This surgery may be done for patients who have a low-grade tumor that has invaded the wall of the bladder but is limited to one area of the bladder. Because most of the bladder remains intact, a patient is able to urinate normally after recovering from this surgery.

Urinary diversion:

Surgery to make a new way for the body to store and pass urine.

Even if the doctor removes all the cancer that can be seen at the time of the surgery, some patients may be given chemotherapy after surgery to kill any cancer cells that are left. Treatment given after surgery, to increase the chances of a cure, is called adjuvant therapy.

– Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy is a cancer treatment that uses high-energy x-rays or other types of radiation to kill cancer cells. There are two types of radiation therapy. External radiation therapy uses a machine outside the body to send radiation toward the cancer. Internal radiation therapy uses a radioactive substance sealed in needles, seeds, wires, or catheters that are placed directly into or near the cancer. The way the radiation therapy is given depends on the type and stage of the cancer being treated.

– Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is a cancer treatment that uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping the cells from dividing. When chemotherapy is taken by mouth or injected into a vein or muscle, the drugs enter the bloodstream and can reach cancer cells throughout the body (systemic chemotherapy). When chemotherapy is placed directly into the spinal column, a body cavity such as the abdomen, or an organ, the drugs mainly affect cancer cells in those areas. Bladder cancer may be treated with intravesical (into the bladder through a tube inserted into the urethra) chemotherapy. The way the chemotherapy is given depends on the type and stage of the cancer being treated.

Side Effects of Bladder Cancer

Have a question?

Can't find what you're looking for? Get in touch.


Testimonials

Jeff was my best friend. We knew each other for over 20 years. Jeff who never smoked, died of lung cancer. One of the 8%, Jeff told...

- Alan Huard

Read More »

What's involved in CAAT?

This is the place to start! There is a distinct difference between cancer prevention and treatment. Things that are beneficial to cancer prevention may actually fuel the growth of cancer. A.P. John, Sr., was ahead of his time when he documented this theory in his book. Learn More »