About Bladder Cancer

The bladder is a muscular organ that’s part of the system that filters waste from your blood and eliminates it in the form of urine. 
Bladder cancer occurs when cells in your bladder grow out of control. The most common bladder cancer forms in the cells of the inner layer of your bladder. However, some cancers grow in other areas of the bladder. Cigarette smoke is the most common cause of bladder cancer, and toxic chemicals like paints and solvents can also contribute to abnormal cell growth.


Bladder cancer may have many symptoms, including:
  • Blood in your urine (slightly rusty to bright red in color)
  • Frequent urination
  • Not being able to urinate but feeling the need
  • Pain while urinating
  • Lower back pain
Having one or more of these symptoms does not necessarily mean you have bladder cancer, as these symptoms are also common with other conditions. See your doctor to determine the cause and begin treatment as soon as possible.


There are four stages of bladder cancer. See your doctor immediately if you have any symptoms, because the earlier you are diagnosed, the more treatable it is.

Stage I

Cancer has formed and spread to the layer of tissue under the inner lining of your bladder.

Stage II

Cancer has spread to the inner or outer half of the bladder’s muscle wall.

Stage III

Cancer has spread from the bladder to the tissue surrounding it, and may have spread to the reproductive organs (prostate, uterus, vagina).

Stage IV

Cancer has spread from the bladder to the wall of the abdomen or pelvis, and may have spread to lymph nodes or other parts of the body.



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