About Bladder Cancer

Bladder cancer is a disease in which cancerous cells develop in the lining of the bladder. These tumors can form singularly or diffusely around the bladder, with more aggressive cancers penetrating through the different layers of the bladder. As cancer spreads through these layers, it becomes more advanced and more difficult to treat.

Urothelial or transitional cell bladder cancer is the most common type of bladder cancer. More than 90% of bladder cancers start in urothelial or transitional cells that comprise the superficial lining of the bladder.

Less common types of bladder cancer that start in other cells in the bladder include:

  • Squamous cell carcinoma of the bladder
  • Adenocarcinoma of the bladder
  • Small cell carcinoma of the bladder

Your treatment will depend on the type of bladder cancer and whether cancer cells have invaded, or grown into or beyond, the muscle layer of the bladder.

Patients with bladder cancer may also have tumors elsewhere in the urinary tract, including the lining of the kidneys (called the renal pelvis), the lining of the ureters (the tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder), or the urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body).