Bladder cancer

Most common in men over 60, the risk of developing bladder cancer increases with age.

 

What is bladder cancer?

Bladder cancer is when a tumour forms in the lining of the bladder, which can also spread to nearby muscle. Most types of bladder cancer are known as ‘transitional cell carcinomas’.

There are three types of bladder cancer:

  • Non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer: the most common type. It only affects the lining of the bladder
  • Muscle-invasive bladder cancer: when cancer spreads into muscle around the bladder. It’s then more likely to spread to other areas of the body (metastasise)
  • Advanced bladder cancer: where bladder cancer has already spread (metastasised) to other parts of the body

Causes of bladder cancer

Bladder cancer may be caused by contact with harmful substances. You’re also more likely to develop bladder cancer if you smoke. There’s a greater risk if a close relative has had bladder cancer or you already have a condition such as:

  • Crohn’s disease
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Diabetes

Symptoms of bladder cancer

Signs of bladder cancer include:

Blood in the urine

Pain or burning when you urinate

A sudden need to urinate

Having to urinate more often, including during the night

Feeling a need to urinate but not being able to

Pain on one side of your lower back

Sometimes these symptoms might be caused by something else. They are similar to signs of a urine infection or enlarged prostate.

Tests and diagnosis

Your doctor will discuss your symptoms and any family history of bladder cancer. Along with a physical examination, you may also have:

  • A urine test to rule out a urinary tract infection
  • Pelvic ultrasound scans
  • Cystoscopy (a small tube is inserted to examine the urethra and a biopsy may be taken for analysis and the internal bladder wall, and a biopsy may be taken for analysis)
  • CT urogram – an X-ray of the urinary tract
  • CT chest, abdomen, pelvis and bone scan
  • Blood tests to look for anaemia, kidney dysfunction and raised PSA.

Treatments we offer

Your specialist doctor will discuss treatment options with you including surgery (bladder removal), radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

Radiotherapy kills cancer cells. It’s used in the early stages of cancer treatment or after it has started to spread. It can also be used to relieve pain and discomfort from cancer that has spread.

Read more

Chemotherapy is medication that treats your cancer. The drugs kill cancer cells, preventing them from dividing and spreading further.

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Radiotherapy kills cancer cells. It’s used in the early stages of cancer treatment or after it has started to spread. It can also be used to relieve pain and discomfort from cancer that has spread.

Read more

Chemotherapy is medication that treats your cancer. The drugs kill cancer cells, preventing them from dividing and spreading further.

Read more

Meet our doctors

Our-doctors

Everything we do is focused on designing better care for our patients. With a network of 12 specialist oncology treatment centres across the UK, we provide the most up-to-date treatments and technology as standard.

We attract and retain some of the most experienced doctors in the country, who all have a passion for improving patient outcomes and specialise in the treatment of different types of cancer.

Meet our doctors

Search for a centre near you

Birmingham

Little Aston Hall Drive, Sutton Coldfield, B74 3BF

+44 (0)121 353 3055

Bristol

300 Park Avenue, Aztec West, Bristol, BS32 4SY

01454 456500

Cambridge

The Oaks, Fordham Road, Newmarket, CB8 7XN

+44 (0)1223 907 600

Chelmsford

Springfield Cancer Centre, Lawn Lane, Chelmsford, CM1 7GU

+44 (0)1245 987 901

Cromwell Hospital

164-178 Cromwell Rd, Kensington, London SW5 0TU, UK

020 7460 5626

Elstree

Unit 710, Centennial Park, Centennial Avenue, Elstree, Borehamwood, WD6 3SZ

+44 (0)208 236 9040

Guildford

BMI St Martha Oncology Centre, 46 Harvey Road, Guildford, GU1 3LX

+44 (0)1483 806 000

Maidstone

17 Kings Hill Avenue, Kings Hill, West Malling, ME19 4UA

+44 (0)1732 207 000

Milton Keynes

Sunrise Parkway, Linford Wood East, Milton Keynes, MK14 6LS

+44 (0)1908 467 700

Nottingham

The Park Centre for oncology, Sherwood Lodge Drive, Burntstump Country Park, Nottingham, NG5 8RX

+44 (0)115 966 2250

Oxford

Sandy Lane West, Peters Way, Oxford, OX4 6LB

+44 (0)1865 237 700

Portsmouth

Bartons Road, Havant, PO9 5NA

+44 (0)23 9248 4992

Southampton

Spire Hospital, Chalybeate Close, Southampton, SO16 6UY

+44 (0)238 076 4961

Windsor

69 Alma Road, Windsor, SL4 3HD

+44 (0)1753 418 444