Cancer Center

Bladder Cancer

Bladder cancer
Definition

Bladder cancer is a cancer that starts in the lining of the bladder, the balloon-shaped organ found in the lower part of the abdomen that stores urine. While bladder cancer can occur at any age, it typically affects older adults. Smokers are more likely to develop bladder cancer than nonsmokers. Workplace exposure also can be a contributing factor; people who have been exposed to certain industrial and organic chemicals may have an increased risk.

St. Luke’s physicians from St. Luke’s Center for Urology offer compassion and experience in diagnosing and treating bladder cancers using appropriate and effective treatment options.

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Symptoms

Symptoms of bladder cancer can include:

  • Blood in the urine
  • Painful urination
  • Frequent urination
  • Feeling the urge to urinate but not being able to pass urine
  • Frequent urinary tract infections
  • Lower back pain on one side of the body
  • Unexplained appetite loss and weight loss
  • A pelvic mass

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Treatment

The treatment of bladder cancer depends on the tumor’s clinical stage, how deep it has grown in the bladder and if it has spread to other organs.

Treatments may include:

  • Surgery, including minimally invasive laparoscopic procedure. Surgery for bladder cancer may include any of the following types:
    • Transurethral resection (TUR) or transurethral resection of the bladder tumor (TURBT)
    • Partial cystectomy (part of the bladder is removed)
    • Radical cystectomy (the entire bladder is removed), including nearby lymph nodes, part of the urethra and nearby organs that may contain cancer cells
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Access to promising clinical trials

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Our Team

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