Bladder Cancer (cont.)
Kevin C. Zorn, MD, FRCSC, FACS
Gagan Gautam, MD, MCh
Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
In this Article
What is bladder cancer?
Bladder cancer is an uncontrolled abnormal growth and multiplication of cells in the urinary bladder which have broken free from the normal control mechanisms of the body. Bladder cancer (like cancers of other organs) has the ability to spread (metastasize) to other body parts including the lungs, bones, and liver.
Bladder cancer invariably starts from the innermost layer of the bladder (for example, the mucosa) and may invade into the deeper layers as it grows. Alternately, it may remain confined to the mucosa for a prolonged period of time. Visually, it may appear in various forms. Most common is a shrub-like appearance (papillary) but it may also appear as a nodule, an irregular solid growth or a flat, barely perceptible thickening of the inner bladder wall (details in subsequent sections).
What is the burden of bladder cancer in the U.S.?
Bladder cancer has the dubious distinction of inclusion on the top 10 list of cancers with an estimated 72,570 new cases occurring in 2010 within the U.S. Bladder cancer is three to four times more likely to be diagnosed in men than in women and two times higher in white men than in African-American men. Bladder cancer killed an estimated 15,210 people in 2013.
What are the types of bladder cancer?
Bladder cancer is classified on the basis of the appearance of its cells under the microscope (histological type). The type of bladder cancer has implications in selecting the appropriate treatment for the disease. For example, certain types may not respond to radiation and chemotherapy as well as others. The extent of surgery required for maximizing the chances of cure may also be impacted by the histological type of the cancer.
The more common types of bladder cancer and their relative incidence are given below:
Reviewed by Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD on 11/26/2013
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Bladder Cancer - Effective Treatment Question: What treatment has been effective for your bladder cancer?
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Bladder Cancer - Causes or Risk Factors Question: What was the cause of your bladder cancer? Did you have any risks, like smoking?
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Bladder Cancer - Chemotherapy Experience Question: Did you have chemotherapy to treat bladder cancer? Please describe what it was like.