What Is Papillary Urothelial Carcinoma?

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Ask the experts

What is papillary urothelial carcinoma?

Doctor's response

Carcinoma is a medical term for cancer. Cancers are named for the location of their origin and their appearance. Urothelial cells are the cells that normally line the inner bladder.

Urothelial carcinoma is cancer of the inner bladder. Cancers can also be named for how they appear to grow. Urothelial carcinoma can either be flat in the bladder lining or protrude with growth toward the hollow center of the bladder (referred to as papillary). Therefore, papillary urothelial carcinoma is a cancer that begins in the bladder lining cells that forms little protrusions into the center of the bladder, rather than being flat.

To learn more, read our full medical article on bladder cancer signs, symptoms, treatment, and prognosis.


"Clinical presentation, diagnosis, and staging of bladder cancer"

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Reviewed on 10/17/2017