Bladder cancer is the sixth most common cancer in the United States, with more than 80,000 new cases diagnosed each year, according to the National Cancer Institute. Men are four times more likely to be diagnosed with bladder cancer from the disease than woman. Bladder cancer is the eighth most common cause of cancer death among men.
The bladder is a hollow organ that stores urine before it is discharged from the body. Urine travels to the bladder from the kidneys through tubes called ureters and from the bladder out of the body through the urethra. The lining of the bladder, call the urothelium, is made of cells called urothelial cells. Ninety percent of bladder cancers develop in urothelial cells, a type of bladder cancer called transitional cell carcinoma (TCC).
While the exact causes of bladder cancer are not always known, age and gender are among the most common risk factors. Other risk factors include:
Bladder cancer is most often found in older adults. According to the National Cancer Institute:
Aside from cancers that develop in the urothelium, other types of bladder cancer include:
Early-stage bladder cancer may not produce symptoms. But as the disease progresses, many symptoms are related to urination. Symptoms include:
Symptoms of advanced bladder cancer include lower back pain and swelling of the feet.
Tools and tests used to diagnose bladder cancer include:
Surgery to remove all or part of the bladder is usually the first-line treatment for bladder cancer. Immunotherapy may also be a treatment option for some bladder cancers. The types of immunotherapy that may be recommended include: