Bladder cancer

Alternative Names

Transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder; Urothelial cancer

Definition of Bladder cancer

Bladder cancer is a cancerous in the bladder. The bladder is the organ in the center of the lower abdomen that holds urine.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

In the United States, bladder cancers usually start from the cells lining the bladder (transitional cells).


Most of the symptoms of bladder cancer can also occur with non-cancerous conditions. It’s important to get evaluated if you have any of these symptoms:

Signs and tests

The health care provider will perform a physical examination, including a rectal and pelvic exam.


The choice of treatment depends on the stage of the tumor, the severity of the symptoms, and the presence of other medical conditions.

Expectations (prognosis)

Patients are closely monitored to see whether the disease gets worse, regardless of which kind of treatment they received. Monitoring may include:


David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; Louis S. Liou, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Urology, Department of Surgery, Boston University School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 3/30/2010

Female urinary tract
Male urinary tract

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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