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Bladder cancer is a disease that forms in the tissues of the bladder, and most cases of bladder cancer begin in cells that make up the lining of the bladder. Each year, over 72,000 new cases of bladder cancer are diagnosed in the United States. Of these cases, nearly all occur in patients over the age of 55 years, more commonly in men than women.
The bladder is an organ in the lower abdomen that stores urine, the waste produced when the kidneys filter the blood. The bladder expands and shrinks as it stores and empties urine. Urine passes from the kidneys into the bladder through tubes called ureters. A tube called the urethra, which is longer in men than women, then carries urine out of the body.
Risk factors for bladder cancer may include:
Symptoms of bladder cancer vary from person to person, but the most common sign is blood in the urine (hematuria). However, blood in the urine may be caused by a number of conditions, and does not necessarily indicate cancer.
Common bladder cancer signs and symptoms may include:
To diagnose bladder cancer, or to see if the cancer has spread, these tests may be performed:
Learn details about how we diagnose bladder cancer.
Treatment options depend on the stage of the cancer and a patient's general health. Treatment may include:
Learn details about how we treat bladder cancer.
The chance of recovery (prognosis) depends mainly on the stage of the cancer, and whether it has spread to other parts of the body, as well as the age and health of the patient.
Next: How We Diagnose Bladder Cancer