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Bladder Cancer

The wall of the bladder is lines with cells called transitional cells and squamous cells. More than 90 percent of bladder cancers begin in the transitional cells. This type of bladder cancer is called transitional cell carcinoma. About 8 percent of bladder cancer patients have squamous cell carcinomas.

Cancer that is only in cells in the lining of the bladder is called superficial bladder cancer or carcinoma in situ. This type of blacker cancer often comes back after treatment. If this happens, the disease most often recurs as another superficial cancer in the bladder.

Risk Factors

No one knows the exact causes of bladder cancer. Studies have found the following risk factors for bladder cancer:

  • Age – The chance of getting bladder cancer goes up as we age. People under 40 rarely get bladder cancer.
  • Tobacco – Cigarette smokers are two to three times more likely than nonsmokers to get bladder cancer.
  • Occupation – Some workers have a higher risk of getting bladder cancer because of carcinogens in the workplace. Workers in the rubber, chemical and leather industries are at risk. So are hairdressers, machinists, metal workers, printers, painters, textile workers and truck drivers.
  • Infections – Being infected with certain parasites increases the risk.
  • Treatment with cyclophosphamide or arsenic – These drugs are used to treat cancer and some other conditions. They raise the risk of bladder cancer.
  • Race – Caucasians get bladder cancer twice as often as African Americans and Hispanics. Lowest rates are among Asians.
  • Being male – Men are two to three times more likely than women to get bladder cancer.
  • Family history – People with family members who have bladder cancer are more likely to get the disease.
  • Personal history of bladder cancer – People who have had bladder cancer have an increased chance of getting the disease again.


  • Blood in the urine
  • Pain during urination
  • Frequent urination or feeling the need to urinate without results

If you have these symptoms, it is important to be seen by the Miami Valley Hospital’s cancer team who has expertise in treating this specific disease.


No one knows exactly what causes bladder cancer, but several carcinogens (agents that can cause cancer), such as cigarette smoke, are potential causes. Researchers are focusing on conditions that change the genetic structure of cells, causing abnormal cell reproduction.


If you have symptoms that suggest bladder cancer, your doctor may recommend one or more of the following tests and procedures:

Treatment Options

The choice of treatment and the long-term outcome (prognosis) for people who have bladder cancer depends on the stage and grade of cancer.

Treatment options for kidney cancer offered at MVH include:

New types of treatment are being tested in clinical trials including:

  • Chemoprevention – the use of drugs, vitamins, or other substances to reduce the risk of developing cancer or to reduce the risk that cancer will come back.
  • Photodynamic therapy – a cancer treatment that uses a drug and a certain type of laser light. The drug collects more in cancer cells than in normal cells. Fiberoptic tubes are then used to carry the laser light to the cancer cells, where the drug becomes active and kills the cells. This type of therapy causes little damage to healthy tissue.

Patient Education

Learn more about bladder cancer so you can better understand your condition and your treatment options.

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