Overview

of Bladder Cancer

Bladder cancer is the fourth most common new cancer in men and the tenth in women. About 70,000 individuals will be diagnosed with bladder cancer this year.

The bladder is a hollow organ in the lower abdomen. Its primary function is to store urine, the waste that is produced when the kidneys filter the blood. Urine passes from the two kidneys into the bladder through two tubes called ureters and urine leaves the bladder through another tube called the urethra. The bladder has a muscular wall that allows it to get larger and smaller as urine is stored or emptied.

The wall of the bladder is lined with several layers of cells called transitional cells. Cancer arising from these cells makes up more than 90% of all bladder cancers and these are referred to as transitional cell carcinomas. Because transitional cell carcinomas are the most common type of bladder cancer, the information in this section only addresses treatment of transitional cell cancer of the bladder.1,2,3

Next: Symptoms of Bladder Cancer

References


1 National Cancer Institute. Bladder and Other Urothelial Cancers (PDQ®): Screening. Health Professional Version. Available at:http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/screening/bladder/HealthProfessional (Accessed May 5, 2008).
2 Pashos CL, Botteman MF, Laskin BL, Redaelli A. Bladder Cancer: Epidemiology, Diagnosis, and Management. Cancer Practice 2002;10:311-322.
3 National Cancer Institute. Bladder Cancer (PDQ®): Treatment. Health Professional Version. Available