Bladder tumors occur in the bladder, a hollow organ in the pelvis that stores urine.
The most common bladder tumors are found in the lining of the bladder and are known as transitional cell carcinoma. These account for approximately 90% of all bladder tumors.
Bladder cancer in the United States is the fourth most common cancer found in men and the ninth most common in women.
Signs & Symptoms
Many signs and symptoms of bladder tumors are not unique to this disease. If your physician is suspicious they will often send you to a urologist for further testing. Symptoms can include blood in the urine, pain during urination, frequent urination, and feeling the nbeed to urinate but not being able to.
Bladder tumors are diagnosed either by biopsy or by testing urine bound markers. A cytoscopy is performed. This is an endoscopy of the urinary bladder and can usually be done under local anesthesia.
Testing urine bound markers is not done on a routine basis since it is an expensive test and there are currently no professional guidelines in place for administering these tests.
Treatment for bladder tumors depends mainly on how far along the tumor is and how deep it is in the bladder. If a tumor is not yet deep they can often be shaved off. Another treatment for shallow tumors is BCG instillation (Bacillus Calmette-Guerin).
For more advanced tumors physicians often recommend a cystectomy which involves removing part of the bladder. Chemotherapy and Thermo-chemotherapy have also proven effective in the treatment of bladder tumors.
If detected early superficial bladder tumors have a very good prognosis, about 85% over a five-year period. For bladder tumors whose cells have metastasized, patients live on average up to two years. Those with recurring tumors have a less positive diagnosis.