Bladder cancer is a malignant growth of cells that form a tumor inside the bladder. They typically arise from the cells that line the inside of the bladder called transitional cells. These tumors can grow as papillary (polyp-like) or as sessile (flat) tumors. They can be very small or very large. Bladder cancer can metastasize to other areas of the body. Treatment for bladder cancer depends on tumor size, grade (how aggressive tumor looks under a microscope), and depth of invasion into the bladder wall (non-muscle invasive or muscle invasive).
A tumor develops when cells in the bladder grow unusually. Risk factors of bladder cancer
• Tobacco use
• Exposure to chemical, especially working in a job that requires exposure to chemicals
• Past radiation exposure
• Recurrent infections in the bladder
• Chronic irritation of the lining of the bladder
• Parasitic infections, especially in people who are from or have traveled to certain areas
outside the US.
• Blood in urine (hematuria)
(If you have hematuria, your urine may appear bright red or cola colored. Sometimes,
urine may not look any different, but blood in urine may be detected during a microscopic
exam of the urine)
• Painful urination
• Pelvic pain
• Back pain
• Frequent urination
Treatment mainly depends on the grade of the tumor, depth of invasion into the wall of the bladder, and stage of the disease. This is determined after the tumor has been removed from the bladder with a special cystoscope in surgery and appropriate imaging has been completed.