Urination - frequent Urination - pain Urine - dark color
Urine - with blood    
Bladder cancer is a disease that begins in the bladder, which is the organ that stores urine. This type of cancer usually begins in the inner lining of the bladder and appears as small growths, shaped like mushrooms. This is called papillary bladder cancer, which is a form of early bladder cancer.

The presence of blood in the urine (hematuria or haematuria) is the most common symptom. However hematuria can be also related to non-cancerous conditions such as cystitis or prostate infections.

Bladder cancer is classified by how far it has spread:

- Non-muscle invasive bladder cancer, also called superficial, is the type in which the cancerous cells are still contained in the boundaries of the bladder. It is the most common form and usually has a good prognosis.

- Muscle invasive bladder cancer. It refers to cancerous cells that spread beyond the bladder.

In addition, bladder cancer can be classified by the appearance of the cancerous cells:

- Urothelial carcinoma, also called Transitional cell carcinoma, is the most common type. This cancer begins in cells, called transitional cells, located in the bladder lining. It is associated with tobacco smoke.

- Squamous cell carcinoma. It is associated with chronic infections. - Adenocarcinoma.

- Other forms. Rare types include sarcoma, small cell cancer, and pheochromocytoma.

The TNM is the staging system most commonly used. It meaning is interpreted as follow:

- T, for Tumor, refers to how deep the tumor has spread. It is sub classified in 4 numbers, being T4 the higher value of tumor invasion.

- N, for Nodes, denotes that lymph nodes are affected. It is sub classified by numbers from 0 to 3.

- M, for Metastasis, indicates that the cancer has spread beyond the bladder. M1 means the cancer has spread. M0 indicates that the cancer has not spread to other parts of the body.

Risk factors

Tobacco smoke has been recognized as a main risk factor for almost half of all cases of bladder cancer. Long-term exposure to certain chemicals and a family history are also considered to be risk factors for developing bladder cancer.
After a physical exam, doctors may recommend the following tests to confirm the disease:

- Urine test.
- Blood test.
- Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP).
- Abdominal ultrasound.
- Biopsy.
- Cystoscopy.
  More information:
Bladder Cancer Treatment
Bladder Cancer Healthcare Centers

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