Bladder cancer is cancer that starts in the tissues of the bladder. The bladder is the hollow organ in the lower part of the abdomen that holds and releases liquid waste (urine). A common urologic cancer, bladder cancer affects both men and women, though it is more common in men. More than 70,000 new cases are diagnosed each year in the United States, according to the National Cancer Institute. It is the fourth most common cancer among men and the eighth most common among women.
The Department of Urology at Mount Sinai Health System is recognized as a leader in the diagnosis and treatment of bladder cancer. We are able to offer our patients access to the latest treatments and techniques, in addition to access to clinical trials of new therapies.
Our approach is multidisciplinary. We partner closely with our distinguished colleagues in the Department of Radiation Oncology, The Department of Medicine, and the Tisch Cancer Institute at Mount Sinai to ensure you receive comprehensive and coordinated treatment.
A hallmark of Mount Sinai Department of Urology is that we spend time discussing the benefits and risks associated with each treatment option but encourage patients to become as knowledgeable as possible about their condition so the conversation can be truly two-way.
Types of Bladder Cancer
There are three main types of bladder cancer, each one named for the type of bladder cell where the cancer starts. They include:
- Urothelial cell carcinoma: Previously called transitional cell carcinoma or TCC, this is the most common type of bladder cancer in the United States, accounting for about 90 percent of all bladder cancers. Urothelial carcinoma occurs in urothelium, the cells that line the inside of the bladder. Subtypes of this type of bladder cancer include papillary carcinomas and flat carcinomas.
- Squamous cell carcinoma: This type begins in the squamous cells of the bladder and accounts for about four percent of all cases.
- Adenocarcinoma: This type begins in the glandular cells of the bladder. It is rare in the United States, representing about two percent of all cases.
Risk factors for bladder cancer include the following, according to the National Cancer Institute:
- Exposure to certain chemicals in the workplace (People who work in industries with certain substances, including rubber, dyes and textiles, paint, and hairdressing supplies are at higher risk for bladder cancer.)
- Family history of bladder cancer
- Personal history of chronic bladder problems or bladder cancer
- Cancer treatments such as radiation or cyckophosphamide (Cytoxan®)
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