If your doctor suspects that you may have bladder cancer, he/she will usually perform a physical exam and order blood tests to look for cancerous cells before making a bladder cancer diagnosis.
There are three types of bladder cancer that begin in cells in the lining of the bladder. These cancers are named for the type of cells that become malignant (cancerous):
- Transitional cell carcinoma: Cancer that begins in cells in the innermost tissue layer of the bladder. These cells are able to stretch when the bladder is full and shrink when it is emptied. Most bladder cancers begin in the transitional cells.
- Squamous cell carcinoma: Cancer that begins in squamous cells, which are thin, flat cells that may form in the bladder after long-term infection or irritation.
- Adenocarcinoma: Cancer that begins in glandular (secretory) cells that may form in the bladder after long-term irritation and inflammation.
Cancer that is confined to the lining of the bladder is called superficial bladder cancer. Cancer that begins in the transitional cells may spread through the lining of the bladder and invade the muscle wall of the bladder or spread to nearby organs and lymph nodes; this is called invasive bladder cancer.
Use the menu below to review other important bladder cancer information including detection and diagnosis, staging, and treatment options through our website. You can also request an appointment with one of Virginia Oncology Associates’ bladder cancer specialists at any of our nine locations in Virginia. Our cancer care team can answer questions specific to your individual bladder cancer diagnosis.
In order to plan the best treatment options for your bladder cancer, your oncologist will need to assess the stage of your cancer by ordering various tests. The various stages of bladder cancer range from Stage 0 to Stage IV.
After a bladder cancer diagnosis, the cancer specialists at Virginia Oncology Associates work together with you to develop an individualized treatment plan. Bladder treatment plans are based on the type of bladder cancer, the stage, the patient’s overall health, and other various other factors. Your treatment plan may include one or more of the following:
- Radiation Therapy
The support specialists at Virginia Oncology Associates are here to help and guide you through your cancer journey. We also encourage you to learn more and take advantage of both the Virginia Oncology Associates cancer support groups, as well as other local resources in Virginia and North Carolina.