The Different Types of Bladder Cancer

The Different Types of Bladder Cancer

A large number of bladder cancers are of the transitional cell type, often referred to as urothelial cancer. This type of bladder cancer begins development in the bladder lining (urothelium). Bladder cells are bunched together when the bladder is empty and stretched into a single layer when it is full.

These cells interact with various chemicals that pass through the bladder as waste products in urine. For instance, the chemicals that get into the bloodstream from smoking cigarettes eventually pass through the bladder as waste. Many of these chemicals are harmful and as they interact with bladder cells, cancerous growths can begin to grow if other conditions are right.

Types of bladder cancer

These are divided into various categories based upon what the cells look like under a microscope. Each type responds differently to different methods of treatment. Bladder cancers are also often described by how far advanced they are. Transitional cell carcinoma normally lines the bladder walls, but can be found in the urinary tract or urethra. If you have cancer in any part of the urinary system, your doctor should check the entire system for tumors or cancerous growths.

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Some bladder cancers are described as non-invasive because they’re still only found in the inner layer of cells (the transitional epithelium). Early detection is important and can prevent this cancer from growing into the deeper layers. Once a bladder cancer spreads, it’s harder to treat. If you have a history of cancer in your family or have any of the risk factors, then it’s important to see a urologist regularly. Working with your urologist, any unusual cell growth can be detected right away and treated so that it doesn’t develop.

Papillary carcinomas often grow toward your bladder’s hollow center, as opposed to growing into the lining. These slender, finger-like protrusions are known as non-invasive papillary cancers. If left untreated, they can grow into the deeper layers and then this is known as invasive transitional cell (or urothelial) carcinoma. There are many other types of cancers that begin in the bladder, but they are much less common.

Types of Bladder Cancer