Bladder cancer is the most common malignancy of the urinary tract system. Its incidence increases with age and is more common in smokers.
The bladder is a balloon-shaped hollow organ that stores urine. Cancer forms in the cells of the bladder lining. There are several types of bladder cancer. The most common is called urothelial cell carcinoma.
Common symptoms of bladder cancer may include:
- Occasional to frequent blood in urine
- Frequent urination
- Pain with urination
- Pelvic or flank pain
- Weight loss
- Transurethral resection. Surgery to remove or destroy the tumor. The tumor can also be vaporized with a laser or burned away with an electric current called fulguration.
- Partial cystectomy. Surgery to remove the bladder wall that has cancer.
- Radical cystectomy. Surgical removal of the entire bladder and nearby lymph nodes and organs that contain cancer cells. A radical cystectomy is followed by a urinary diversion, the creation of another pathway for urine to leave the body.
Intravesical chemotherapy or immunotherapy. The temporary placement of chemotherapy or immunotherapy agents directly into the bladder through a catheter (a thin hollow tube).
Chemotherapy. Usually reserved for high-risk and metastatic disease.
Radiation therapy. Has a limited role in the treatment of bladder cancer.