Preventive Healthcare

Bladder Cancer: Its Symptoms, Causes, Types, and Treatments

Are you aware that bladder cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in the world? It’s true! But despite its prevalence, many people still know very little about this disease. That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive guide to help you understand everything you need to know about this cancer – from its causes and symptoms to diagnosis and treatment options. Whether you or a loved one has been recently diagnosed with bladder cancer, or if you’re simply interested in learning more about it, this post will provide all the information you need to stay informed and empowered. So let’s dive in!

What is Bladder Cancer?

It is a type of cancer that affects the bladder, which is a sac-like organ in the pelvis that stores urine. The most common type of bladder cancer is transitional cell carcinoma, which starts in the cells lining the inside of the bladder. This cancer can occur in both men and women, but it is more common in men.

While there are many risk factors for developing cancer, some of the most common include smoking, being exposed to certain chemicals, and having a history of urinary tract infections. Treatment for bladder cancer often includes surgery to remove the tumour, as well as chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy.

Different Types of Bladder Cancer

  • Transitional Cell Carcinoma: accounting for about 90 per cent of bladder cancers, this type begins in the cells that line the inside of the bladder.
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma: begins in the thin, flat cells lining the bladder .
  • Adenocarcinoma: starts in cells that make and release mucus and other fluids. 
  • Small Cell Lung Cancer: a fast-growing type that is seen more often in smokers. 
  • Other Types: Sarcoma, lymphoma, and melanoma are much less common types of bladder cancer.

Symptoms of Bladder Cancer

  • Blood in the urine (hematuria)
  • Painful urination (dysuria)
  • Frequent urination (frequency)
  • Urinary urgency
  • Feeling the need to urinate but being unable to do so (urinary retention)
  • Pelvic pain or pressure

Causes and Risk Factors of Bladder Cancer

  • Exposure to certain chemicals, such as those used in the textile, leather, and paint industries.
  • Previous treatment for cancer using a chemotherapy drug called cyclophosphamide.
  • Being male (This cancer is more common in men than women).
  • Increasing age (risk of cancer increases with age).

Diagnosing Bladder Cancer

Bladder cancer can be difficult to diagnose in its early stages because it often does not cause any symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they may be mistaken for other conditions such as a urinary tract infection or benign prostatic hyperplasia. That’s why it’s important to see a doctor if you experience any of the following:

  • Blood in your urine
  • Changes in your urinary frequency or urgency
  • Pain or burning during urination

If your doctor suspects that you may have cancer, they will likely order a urine test and/or imaging tests of your urinary tract. At the same time, your doctor may also ask you to take a Bladder Cancer/Urothelial Carcinoma Marker Profile and monitor for tumour recurrence. A biopsy may also be necessary to confirm the diagnosis.

Treatments for Bladder Cancer

1. Surgery: This is the most common type of treatment for bladder cancer. The goal of the surgery is to remove the tumour and any surrounding tissue that may be affected. This can be done through a variety of methods, including open surgery, laparoscopic surgery, or robotic surgery.

2. Chemotherapy: This treatment uses drugs to kill cancer cells. It can be given intravenously (IV) or as a pill taken by mouth. Chemotherapy may be used before or after surgery to help kill any remaining cancer cells.

3. Radiation Therapy: This treatment uses high-energy beams to kill cancer cells. Radiation therapy can be given externally (from a machine outside the body) or internally (from radioactive materials placed inside the body near the tumour). Radiation therapy may be used before or after surgery to help kill any remaining cancer cells.

4. Immunotherapy: This treatment boosts the body’s immune system to help fight cancer cells. It can be given as an injection under the skin or intravenously (IV). Immunotherapy may be used in combination with other treatments, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

Prevention of Bladder Cancer

Bladder cancer is a highly treatable form of cancer, and the best way to manage it is through prevention. Here are some tips on how to prevent this cancer:

  • Quit Smoking: Smoking cigarettes is by far the biggest risk factor for developing bladder cancer. If you smoke, quitting is the best thing you can do for your health.
  • Limit your Exposure to Toxic Chemicals: Some chemicals, such as those used in the production of dyes and paints, are linked to an increased risk of cancer. If you work with these chemicals, take steps to limit your exposure.
  • Drink Plenty of Fluids: Drinking plenty of fluids helps flush out toxins from your body, including those that could potentially cause cancer in your bladder.
  • Eat a Healthy Diet: A diet rich in fruits and vegetables may help protect against cancer in your bladder. Some studies have shown that certain antioxidants found in these foods may help reduce the risk of cancer.

Living with Bladder Cancer

  • The good news is that there are treatments available and the prognosis for many people is good. In this section, we’ll cover everything you need to know about living with bladder cancer, from treatment options to coping with the emotional impact.
  • Most people with bladder cancer can be treated successfully. Treatment options include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and immunotherapy. The type of treatment will depend on the stage of cancer and the individual patient’s health.
  • After treatment, it’s important to have regular follow-up appointments with your doctor to monitor your health and look for any signs of recurrence. You may also want to consider joining a support group or talking to a counselor to help you cope with the emotional aspects of living with cancer.


Bladder cancer can be successfully treated if diagnosed on time. Knowing the signs, symptoms and risk factors for this type of cancer is important to catch it early and increase your chances of successful treatment. Through research, awareness, early detection and tailored treatments, we hope that bladder cancer will become an increasingly manageable disease for people who are affected by it.

Meanwhile, if you or someone you know has been ordered a bladder cancer test, look no further than. Metropolis Labs is one of India’s biggest diagnostic chains with a pan-India presence. With Metropolis, you can be guaranteed to receive quick and accurate results from the comfort of your home. Contact us today to book a bladder cancer test!

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