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Bladder Cancer Definition & Overview

Definition

Bladder cancer is a disease in which cancer cells grow in the bladder. The bladder, which is located in the lower abdomen, is a hollow organ with flexible muscular walls. Its primary function is to store urine until a person is ready to urinate.

Cancer occurs when cells in the body (in this case bladder cells) divide without control or order. Normally, cells divide in a regulated manner. If cells keep dividing uncontrollably when new cells are not needed, a mass of tissue, called a growth or tumor, forms. The term cancer refers to malignant tumors, which can invade nearby tissue and spread to other parts of the body. A benign tumor does not invade or spread.

There are three main types of cancer that affect the bladder. They are named for the type of cell that becomes cancerous:

  • Transitional cell (urothelial) carcinoma—accounts for more than 90% of bladder cancers
  • Squamous cell carcinoma—accounts for about 4% of bladder cancers
  • Adenocarcinoma—accounts for about 1%-2% of bladder cancers

Bladder Cancer

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Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2019 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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