Bladder Cancer Overview
There are three types of bladder cancer that begin in cells in the lining of the bladder. These cancers are named for the type of cells that become malignant (cancerous):
- Transitional cell carcinoma: Cancer that begins in cells in the innermost tissue layer of the bladder. These cells are able to stretch when the bladder is full and shrink when it is emptied. Most bladder cancers begin in the transitional cells.
- Squamous cell carcinoma: Cancer that begins in squamous cells, which are thin, flat cells that may form in the bladder after long-term infection or irritation.
- Adenocarcinoma: Cancer that begins in glandular (secretory) cells that may form in the bladder after long-term irritation and inflammation.
Cancer that is confined to the lining of the bladder is called superficial bladder cancer. Cancer that begins in the transitional cells may spread through the lining of the bladder and invade the muscle wall of the bladder or spread to nearby organs and lymph nodes; this is called invasive bladder cancer.
You can review other important information about diagnosing bladder cancer, staging the disease, and bladder cancer treatment options on our website or you can request a consultation with one of our bladder cancer specialists at our offices in Portland and Vancouver where they can answer questions specific to your individual diagnosis.
Unfortunately, signs and symptoms of bladder cancer don't appear until the cancer has become more advanced. While some people with bladder cancer may experience signs and symptoms, other people with bladder cancer experience no changes at all.
A risk factor is anything that increases your chance of developing a disease like bladder cancer. Some risk factors like smoking and chemical exposure can be controlled, while others, such as age and genetics, cannot.
If your doctor suspects that you may have bladder cancer, he/she will usually perform a physical exam and order blood tests to look for cancerous cells before making a bladder cancer diagnosis.
The various stages of bladder cancer range from Stage 0 to Stage IV. In order to plan the best cancer treatment options, your oncologist will need to assess the stage of your cancer by ordering various tests.
At Compass Oncology, after a bladder cancer diagnosis, one of our cancer specialists will work together with you to develop a treatment plan that’s best for you based on the type of bladder cancer, the stage, your overall health, and other various other factors. Your treatment plan may include one or more of the following:
- Radiation Therapy
Compass Oncology, in affiliation with the US Oncology Network, offers bladder cancer clinical research trials for patients in the Portland, OR and Vancouver, WA areas. Since our partnership with US Oncology, our patients have participated in clinical research trials that have led to new cancer therapies being approved by the FDA.
From second opinions and oncology nutritional services to patients benefits representatives and oncology social workers, the support specialists at Compass Oncology are here to help and guide you through your cancer journey. We also encourage you to learn more and take advantage of both our Compass Oncology cancer support groups as well as other local cancer support groups in and around Portland, OR and Vancouver, WA.
From Our Blog: More Information About Cancer Management
Visit the National Cancer Institute where this information and more can be found about bladder cancer or ask your cancer care team questions about your individual situation.