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Bladder Cancer

The bladder is part of your urinary tract, which rids your body of liquid waste. With bladder cancer, certain cells in the urinary tract have changed in ways that aren’t normal.

Bladder Cancer Formation

Cancer is a disease in which cells in an area of the body begin changing and multiplying out of control. The multiplying cells form a lump of tissue (tumor). In time, the cancer cells destroy healthy tissue and spread to other parts of the body. Why cells become cancerous is unknown. However, bladder cancer is strongly linked to cigarette smoking. The longer a person smokes and the more a person smokes, the greater that person’s chances of developing bladder cancer.

Types of Bladder Cancer

Three types of bladder cancer may form:

  • Papillary tumors stick out from the bladder lining on a stalk. They typically grow into the bladder cavity, away from the bladder wall, instead of deeper into the layers of the bladder wall.
  • Sessile tumors lie flat against the bladder lining. Sessile tumors have a much higher likelihood than papillary tumors to grow deeper into the layers of the bladder wall.
  • Carcinoma in situ (CIS) is a cancerous patch of bladder lining. The patch can look almost normal or may look inflamed.

Each type of tumor can occur in one or more areas of the bladder. More than one type can be present at the same time.