Bladder Cancer

What Is It?

This type of cancer occurs in the bladder — the organ that stores urine. The bladder has an inner lining surrounded by a layer of muscle. Bladder cancer begins in the inner lining of the bladder. It is usually discovered before it has spread past this lining.

Risk factors for bladder cancer include:

  • Cancer-causing substances such as tobacco smoke and chemicals in the environment

  • Exposure to certain industrial chemicals

  • Long-standing bladder stones

Bladder cancer tends to return in people who have had the disease.


Many people with bladder cancer have no symptoms. Instead, the diagnosis is made when red blood cells are detected in a urine sample. However, people with bladder cancer generally don't see blood in their urine. There is not enough blood to change the urine color. This is called microscopic hematuria.

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