The bladder is a hollow organ in the pelvis that stores urine before it leaves the body. Urine is carried to the bladder through tubes called ureters. Bladder cancer begins when cells in the bladder start to grow uncontrollably. These cancerous cells can form a tumor and potentially spread to other parts of the body.
Types of Bladder Cancer
Also known as transitional cell cancer, urothelial carcinoma begins in the cells lining the inside of the bladder. This type of cell also lines the other parts of the urinary tract, including the kidneys, ureters, and urethra. It is the most common kind of bladder cancer, occurring in about 95 percent of cases, and can be low- or high-grade. Low-grade often recurs after treatment, but typically does not spread into the bladder's muscle layer or other body parts. Just 10 percent of bladder cancers become high-grade or invasive.
Squamous cell carcinoma
This type of cancer begins in squamous cells. These are thin, flat cells in the tissue that lines hollow organs within the body, as well as the passages of both the respiratory and digestive tracts. About 1 to 2 percent of bladder cancers are squamous cell carcinomas, usually caused by long-term infection or irritation.
This rare type of cancer begins in glandular (secretory) cells found in the lining of the bladder. Adenocarcinomas account for only about 1 percent of bladder cancers.
Small Cell Carcinoma
Less than 1 percent of bladder cancers are small cell carcinomas. These start in nerve-like cells – called neuroendocrine cells that grow quickly and they require treatment with chemotherapy similar to that used in cases of small cell carcinoma of the lung.
Primary Stages of Bladder Cancer
The treatment used for bladder cancer depends on many factors, including the diagnosis stage, whether it has spread beyond the bladder, how old the patient is, and the patient’s wishes. The stages of bladder cancer include:
Superficial bladder cancer: Bladder cancer limited to the lining of the bladder.
Invasive bladder cancer: Bladder cancer that has spread through the lining of the bladder and invaded the muscle wall.
Metastatic bladder cancer: Bladder cancer that has spread to nearby organs and lymph nodes.
Why Choose Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center?
Sylvester is an NCI-designated cancer center. The National Cancer Institute has recognized Sylvester for its outstanding work conducting research in its laboratories, treating patients in its clinics and hospitals, and reaching out to medically underserved communities with innovative prevention strategies.
Leading-edge radiation therapy technology. From our pioneering work in MRI-guided techniques and HyperArc™ radiosurgery to our new addition of proton beam therapy, we can precisely target cancer cells with utmost accuracy. We offer advanced treatment options, including intensity-modulated radiation therapy, stereotactic body radiation therapy, stereotactic radiosurgery, and more, to improve outcomes, while preserving healthy organs and tissues.
A top-ranked program for kidney and bladder cancer treatment. We offer advanced care for urologic cancers and are ranked among the top five kidney and bladder cancer programs in the country. Our urologists are dedicated to identifying cancer early so we can provide more effective treatment. We were the first — and only — medical center in South Florida to use enhanced Blue Light Cystoscopy with Cysview imaging technology to detect and identify bladder cancer.
More cancer clinical trials than any other South Florida hospital. If appropriate for your cancer and stage, our clinical trials provide you with the very newest ways to treat and potentially cure your cancer.
Access to innovative minimally invasive cancer surgery. Our flagship hospital, UHealth Towers, performs one of the highest volumes of robotic surgeries in the southeast region, providing patients access to innovative, cutting-edge surgery by the most experienced providers.
One of only six designated Cancer Centers of Excellence in Florida. We treat cancer, and only cancer, giving you the best potential outcomes. The likelihood of surviving cancer five years after treatment from a Dedicated Cancer Center is 17 percent higher than at other hospitals.
Multidisciplinary care teams with nationally recognized expertise. Your care team is made up of experts in your exact type of cancer, and every single aspect of it.
High-tech imaging expertise using the most advanced technology available. Our leading-edge diagnostic equipment allows us to distinguish between normal and abnormal findings, providing you with an accurate diagnosis. We work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan that offers you the best results.
Access to sophisticated reconstruction techniques. In some cases that require the removal of the whole bladder, our specialists can construct a new one. If you're a candidate for this type of surgery, you can lead a normal lifestyle without external appliances.
One of the most experienced teams in the U.S. in nerve-sparing bladder cancer removal. You are far less likely to have side effects due to nerve damage in the abdominal region.