Bladder cancer is a relatively rare form of cancer that starts in the lining of your bladder. Your bladder is a small hollow organ that holds your pee (urine).

Healthcare providers have many ways to treat bladder cancer, including surgery to remove bladder cancer. Bladder cancer may come back after treatment, so people with bladder cancer should be vigilant about following up with their healthcare providers.

Healthcare providers can treat early-stage bladder cancer — cancer that’s found and treated before it can spread — but about 75% of early-stage bladder cancers come back.

How does this condition affect my body?

Your bladder is a triangle-shaped organ that’s centered between your hip bones, above your urethra and below your kidneys. Pee from your kidneys drains into your bladder, which is lined with tissue called urothelium.

Urothelium is made of cells that stretch when your bladder fills with pee and collapses when it’s empty. (Your bladder can hold about 2 cups of pee.)

Bladder cancer happens when certain cells in the tissue lining your bladder mutate or change, becoming abnormal cells that multiply and cause tumors in your bladder.

Left untreated, bladder cancer may grow through your bladder walls to nearby lymph nodes and then other areas of your body, including your bones, lungs or liver.

What are bladder cancer types?

There are three types of bladder cancer. Each type is named for the cells that line the wall of your bladder where the cancer started. Bladder cancer types include:

Transitional cell carcinoma: This cancer starts in transitional cells in the inner lining of your bladder wall. About 90% of all bladder cancers are transitional.

In this cancer type, abnormal cells spread from the inner lining to other layers deep in your bladder or through your bladder wall into fatty tissues that surround your bladder. This bladder cancer type is also known as urothelial bladder cancer.

Squamous cell carcinoma: Squamous cells are thin, flat cells that line the inside of your bladder. This bladder cancer accounts for about 5% of bladder cancers and typically develops in people who’ve had long bouts of bladder inflammation or irritation.

Adenocarcinoma: Adenocarcinoma cancers are cancers in the glands that line your organs, including your bladder. This is a very rare type of bladder cancer, accounting for 1% to 2% of all bladder cancers.

Small cell carcinoma of the bladder: This extremely rare type of bladder cancer affects about 1,000 people in the U.S.

Sarcoma: Rarely, soft tissue sarcomas start in bladder muscle cells.

Healthcare providers may also categorize bladder cancer as being noninvasive, non-muscle-invasive or muscle-invasive.

Noninvasive: This bladder cancer may be tumors in a small section of tissue or cancer that’s only on or near the surface of your bladder.

Non-muscle-invasive:This refers to bladder cancer that’s moved deeper into your bladder but hasn’t spread to muscle.

Muscle-invasive:This bladder cancer has grown into bladder wall muscle and may have spread into the fatty layers or tissues on organs outside of your bladder.

How common is bladder cancer?

Bladder cancer is the fourth most common cancer affecting men and people designated male at birth (DMAB). Men and people DMAB are four times more likely to develop bladder cancer than women and people designated female at birth (DFAB).

But women and people DFAB who do have bladder cancer typically have advanced forms of the disease because they don’t know about bladder cancer symptoms.

According to the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network, women are less likely to pay attention to blood in their pee (hematuria), the first and most important bladder cancer symptom, because they associate blood in pee with common gynecological issues.

Bladder cancer typically affects people age 55 and older. On average, people are 73 when they’re diagnosed with bladder cancer. Men and people DMAB who are white are two times more likely to develop bladder cancer than men and people DMAB who are Black…CONTINUE READING THE FULL ARTICLE>>>

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