Bladder Cancer

Bladder Cancer

bladder cancer

Bladder Cancer

Bladder cancer occurs when healthy cells within the bladder lining change and become abnormal, resulting in a tumor. It is a common form of cancer, particularly in older individuals, with several subtypes, such as urothelial carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and adenocarcinoma. The primary risk factors include smoking, exposure to certain industrial chemicals, and a history of chronic bladder infections. Symptoms often include blood in the urine, frequent urination, and pain during urination. Diagnosis typically involves imaging tests, cystoscopy, and biopsy. Treatment options vary depending on the cancer’s stage and may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, or a combination of these. Early detection and appropriate treatment can significantly improve the prognosis for bladder cancer patients.


Bladder cancer is typically diagnosed through a combination of medical assessments and diagnostic tests. It often begins with a thorough medical history and physical examination by a healthcare professional to evaluate symptoms and risk factors.

The following tests may be done to diagnose bladder cancer:

  • CT scan: x-ray imaging that shows detailed views of the abdominal and pelvic organs.
  • Urinalysis: a test performed in the doctor’s office used to find blood in the urine
  • Urine Cytology: detailed microscopic evaluation of the urine to look for cancer cells that may be present
  • Cystoscopy: visualization of the inside of the bladder with an endoscope
  • Bladder biopsy: usually done in the operating room, where suspicious areas are sampled to determine if cancer is present


Bladder cancer treatment typically depends on the stage of the cancer, the patient’s overall health, and other individual factors. Here is an overview of standard treatment options for bladder cancer:


Surgical procedures are often the primary treatment for bladder cancer. The type of surgery can vary based on the extent and location of the tumor. 

Common surgical options include:

Transurethral resection of bladder tumor (TURBT)

A minimally invasive procedure to remove superficial tumors through the urethra.

Partial or radical cystectomy: 

The removal of part or all of the bladder. Radical cystectomy may also involve the removal of nearby lymph nodes and organs if the cancer has spread.

Intravesical Therapy

This involves the use of medications, such as Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) or chemotherapy, directly into the bladder to treat early-stage or recurrent tumors.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays to target and destroy cancer cells. It may be used before or after surgery or as a primary treatment for those who cannot undergo surgery.


Chemotherapy drugs may be administered orally or intravenously to kill cancer cells throughout the body. It is often used in advanced or metastatic bladder cancer cases.


Immune checkpoint inhibitors, such as pembrolizumab or atezolizumab, are becoming more common in the treatment of advanced bladder cancer. These drugs help the immune system recognize and attack cancer cells.

Targeted Therapy

Targeted drugs focus on specific molecular changes in cancer cells, disrupting their growth and spread. Common targets include the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF).

Clinical Trials

Participation in clinical trials can provide access to new, cutting-edge treatments that may offer better outcomes for some patients.

It’s essential to discuss treatment options with a healthcare team to determine the best approach for a specific case. Additionally, patients may receive a combination of these treatments based on their unique circumstances. Regular follow-up care and monitoring are crucial to assess the effectiveness of treatment and manage any potential side effects or complications. Bladder cancer treatment plans should be personalized and may evolve over time based on the patient’s response to therapy and the cancer’s progression.

Cancer Clinics of North Texas

Cancer Clinics of North Texas will be closed for the Thanksgiving Holiday on Thursday, 11/23 and Friday 11/24

We at Cancer Clinics of North Texas would like to wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving Holiday! We will return to normal Business hours on Monday, November 27, 2023.