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Bladder Cancer Types & Stages

There are various types of bladder cancers. The bladder cancer type determines it's treatment.

Bladder Cancer Types & Stages

The post here provides you information about bladder cancer stages and types.

Bladder Cancer Types

Bladder cancer is classified according to the type of cell getting infected. Types of bladder cancer include:

  • Transitional cell cancer:

    This cancer spreads from the cells of inner lining of bladder which are also known as urothelium. These cells are also known as transitional cells. These cells are bundled together when bladder is empty and are stretched out in single layer when bladder is full. It is the most common type of cancer and accounts for about 90% of bladder cancers.

    Based on how far they have penetrated the walls of bladder, the cancer is again differentiated into:

    • Non Invasive:

      Cancer cells are present in the inner layer of cells, they have not grown into deeper layers.

    • Invasive:

      Invasive cancer may spread to nearby organs and may grow deeper into the cells. It is very hard to treat invasive cancer.

  • Squamous cell carcinoma:

    This type of cancer develops generally after severe infections or long term irritations from bladder stones. These infections causes urothelium (cells of inner lining of bladder) to convert into squamous cells.

  • Adenocarcinoma:

    This cancer develops in the lining of bladder that produces mucus and is very dangerous form of cancer. It is a very rare form of cancer and accounts for 1 to 2 percent of bladder cancers.

  • Sarcoma:

    This type of cancer occurs in bladder muscles or other structural tissues and is very rare form of bladder cancer.

Bladder Cancer Stages

Based on extent of the spread of tumor we can decide the stages of cancer where every stage has different survival rates. Different bladder cancer stages are:

  • Stage 0:

    In this stage cancerous cells have grown in tissue lining the inside of the bladder. It is again divided into stage 0a and stage 0is

    • Stage 0a:

      The tumor in this stage looks like tiny mushrooms growing on the lining of bladder.

    • Stage 0is:

      The tumor in this stage is a flat tumor growing inside the lining of bladder.

  • Stage 1:

    In this stage the cancer has grown through inner lining of the bladder to the connective tissue but has not yet reached layer of muscle in bladder wall nor has it grown into any lymph nodes or other organs.

  • Stage 2:

    The bladder cancer has grown into thick muscle wall of bladder but it has yet grown through muscle wall to reach the fatty tissue surrounding the bladder. It has not spread to any lymph nodes or other organs.

  • Stage 3:

    The bladder cancer has spread to fatty layer of tissue through muscle wall and it may have spread to reproductive organs such as prostate in man and vagina, uterus in a woman.

  • Stage 4:

    In this stage any of the following is possible:

    • Cancer has spread to the abdomen or pelvis but not to any lymph nodes or other organs.
    • Cancer has grown into one or more lymph nodes but not to any organs.
    • Bladder cancer has spread to other parts of body such as lung, liver or bone but not to lymph nodes.

To live healthy & happy, one must keep a check on the body’s functioning by going for regular health checkups. This helps in assessing risk factors and diagnosing diseases at an early stage, which will result in effective treatment and better management of the condition.


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