Bladder Cancer

male doctor in white coat speaks to an older white-haired man in a doctors office


The bladder is the hollow organ in the lower pelvis that holds urine until it is passed out of your body. Cancer can affect any or all of the cellular layers that make up the bladder. Non-muscle invasive means that the cancer only impacts the inner lining of the bladder. Muscle invasive means that the cancer affects deeper layers of the bladder and muscular wall. To learn more about the different types of bladder cancer, click here.


Each year, more than 79,000 Americans will be diagnosed with bladder cancer. Early attention to symptoms is the best way to find and treat the disease. The most common signs and symptoms include:

  • Blood in your urine
  • Urinating more often
  • Burning, discomfort, or pain while urinating
  • Trouble urinating

If you experience either of the symptoms listed above, contact your doctor immediately.

Risk Factors

The most common risk factors for bladder cancer include:

  • Smoking – People who smoke are 3-4 times more likely to develop bladder cancer than those who don’t.
  • Race – Caucasians are at an increased risk for developing bladder cancer.
  • Gender – Bladder cancer occurs much more often in men than women.
  • Age – Most people develop bladder cancer over the age of 60.
  • Chemical Exposure – Certain occupations that require exposure to harsh chemicals can put you at risk for developing bladder cancer.

For a detailed list and explanation of the risk factors, click here.

Treatment Options

Bladder cancer can be treated in a variety of ways, including surgery, intravesical therapy, chemotherapy, and radiation. Once diagnosed, you should discuss your treatment options with your healthcare provider. To learn more about the treatment options, click here.

Covenant Health