The bladder is a balloon-shaped organ in your pelvic area where your body stores urine before it leaves the body.
Bladder cancer is cancer that starts in the bladder. Non-muscle invasive bladder cancer is cancer that grows in the thin tissue on the inside surface of the bladder. This type of cancer has not spread into the bladder muscle or outside of the bladder. Muscle-invasive bladder cancer is a cancer that has spread into the muscle layer of the bladder wall. This is a more serious type of bladder cancer.
- Smoking cigarettes, cigars or pipes raises your risk of bladder cancer
- Long-term exposure to certain chemicals used to make plastics, paints, textiles, leather and rubber is also linked to a greater risk of bladder cancer
Possible signs of bladder cancer:
- Blood in the urine
- Frequent, urgent or painful urination
- Abdominal or back pain
Many of these symptoms often have less serious causes, but it's important to have them checked by a doctor right away so the cause can be found and treated, if needed.
Often the first treatment for bladder cancer is a surgical procedure called a Transurethral Resection of Bladder Tumor (TURBT). Researchers are also studying many new types of treatment for bladder cancer such as:
- Intravesical therapy, which involves medicine placed in the bladder after surgery that may help lower the risk of the cancer coming back.
- Photodynamic therapy, a treatment that uses special drugs, called photosensitizing agents, along with light to detect cancer cells. The drugs only work after they have been activated or "turned on" by certain kinds of light.
- Immunotherapy, a treatment that uses the body's own immune system to fight cancer.
- Targeted therapies, which use drugs to target specific changes in bladder cells that cause them to become cancer.