As mentioned earlier, bladder cancer occurs when the cells around the bladder start to grow and divide abnormally. These divided cells develop mutations that lead them to grow at an excessive rate instead of dying and result in tumors. Some of the potential causes of bladder cancer are given below.

  • Smoking and the usage of other tobacco products.
  • Exposure to chemicals; this puts people who are working at chemical factories at higher risk of developing the disease.
  • Chronic irritation in the lining of the bladder.
  • Past radiation exposure.
  • Parasitic infections, particularly in people who have traveled outside the country.

In addition, some people may get affected by bladder cancer even without any of these risk factors as well.

Types of Bladder Cancer

There are different types of cells in your bladder. Note that the type of bladder cancer and the right treatment method is determined on the basis of the type of bladder cells that are affected by cancer. The types of bladder cancer include:

Urothelial Carcinoma

This is also known as transitional cell carcinoma. This type of cancer occurs when the cells that line the inner side of the bladder are affected. The carcinoma cells tend to expand and contract when your bladder become full and empty respectively. Urothelial carcinoma is the most common type of bladder cancer.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

This condition is associated with chronic urination. For instance, an infection caused by the long-term use of a urinary catheter. This is a rare type of bladder cancer and is common in people who travel frequently to different parts of the world where the parasitic infection called schistosomiasis is common.


There are many mucus-secreting glands in the bladder. Adenocarcinoma occurs when these glands are affected by cancer.

Diagnosis and Treatment

When you consult a doctor, he will check your complete medical history and may inquire about your family medical history. Then, the doctor may suggest a physical exam, pelvic test for women, digital rectal exam, etc., to confirm the health condition. Further, you will be referred to an urologist, who is likely to conduct a series of tests to confirm as well as to detect the complexity of the condition. Some of those diagnosis tests include:

  • Urinalysis
  • Urine cytology
  • Urine tumor market tests
  • Urine culture
  • Cystoscopy
  • Transurethral resection of bladder tumor
  • Imaging tests

As far as the treatment is concerned, your doctor will craft a treatment method based on the type and the stage of cancer. Some of the potential treatment options include:

  • Radiation therapy
  • Surgery
  • Intravesical Chemotherapy
  • Systemic chemotherapy
  • Reconstruction
  • Immunotherapy
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    About the Author

    Dr. Ghassan M. Al-Jazayrly, MD

    A graduate of University of Aleppo Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Al-Jazayrly or, as he is colloquially known: Dr. AJ, is an oncologist and hematologist of a Complete Care Community Health Center (CCCHC) with more than 36 years of experience. In recent years, he’s been involved with a non profit organization known as Every Woman Counts (EWC) which provides free breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services to California’s underserved populations in order to eliminate health disparities for low-income individuals.

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