Bladder Cancer

Quick Facts

Bladder Cancer


The bladder is a hollow organ in the pelvis with flexible, muscular walls. Its main function is to store urine before it leaves the body. Urine is made by the kidneys and is then carried to the bladder through tubes called ureters. When you urinate, the muscles in the bladder contract, and urine is forced out of the bladder through a tube called the urethra.

Bladder cancer begins when cells in the urinary bladder start to grow uncontrollably. As more cancer cells develop, they can form a tumor and spread to other areas of the body. (To learn more about how cancers start and spread, see What Is Cancer?)


Age 55+
Men are About 3 to 4 Times More Likely to Get Bladder Cancer
Blood or Blood Clots in the Urine
Pain or Burning During Urination
Frequent Urination
Feeling the Need to Urinate Many Times Throughout the Night

Risk Factors

Age 55+
Chemical Exposure in the Workplace
Not Drinking Enough Fluids
More Common in Men


Don't Smoke
Limit Workplace Exposure to Certain Chemicals
Drink Plenty of Liquids
Eat Plenty of Fruits and Veggies

Screening Info

Bladder cancer is often found because of signs or symptoms a person is having, or it might be found because of lab tests a person gets for another reason. If bladder cancer is suspected, exams and tests will be needed to confirm the diagnosis. If cancer is found, further tests will be done to help determine the extent ( stage) of the cancer.

  • Medical history and physical exam
  • Urine lab tests
  • Cystoscopy
  • Transurethral resection of bladder tumor (TURBT)
  • Biopsy
  • Imaging tests

Find Support Now

The American Cancer Society says:

“No one need face cancer alone. We are here to provide support every step of the way, from the time you schedule a cancer test through recovery and beyond. We know what you are going through and we can put you in touch with others who can speak from experience. You are not alone. Call us anytime, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, at 1-800-227-2345. We can help.”

More @ American Cancer Society

Cancer Portrait Series

Bladder Cancer

Artist Corey Scott paints Cancer Survivors’ portraits

Visit the Portrait Page

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