About Bladder Cancer

Approximately 70,000 new cases of bladder cancer will be diagnosed this year in the United States, according to the National Cancer Institute.  Bladder cancer is more common among men than women. When found and treated early, as often happens, the chances for survival are very good.

While the causes of bladder cancer have not been identified, some risk factors have been linked. These risk factors include smoking, workplace exposure to hazardous chemicals and chronic bladder inflammation. 

Some bladder cancer symptoms could include:

  • Blood in the urine
  • Frequent urination and/or painful urination
  • Persistent lower back pain.

It is important to recognize that these warning signs may be caused by other problems, and may not be bladder cancer symptoms. You should consult with your physcian to determine the cause of these symptoms.

Bladder Cancer Prognosis & Screening

In diagnosing bladder cancer, your doctor will perform an internal exam to feel for lumps in the vagina or rectum. Additional screenings may include a urinalysis, CT scans, or a cytoscopy (a procedure where a thin instrument with a light and lens to view the bladder is inserted through the urethra). Tissue samples may also be taken during a cytoscopy.

If a bladder cancer diagnosis is made, a physician will determine the severity or stage of the cancer, including whether it has spread to other areas of the body.  Each cancer type has its own classification system. Treatment will be recommended based on prognosis and the stage of bladder cancer. 

Multispecialty Team

NorthShore University HealthSystem physicians and the team at the Kellogg Cancer Center work collaboratively and are dedicated to putting patients and families at the center of a healthcare experience that delivers compassionate, quality care.

Every week, our multidisciplinary team meets to discuss each patient’s case in detail and to design a personalized treatment plan. Your team may include your medical oncologist, surgeon, radiation oncologist, nurse, genetics counselor, pathologist, nutritionist, interventional radiologist, and researchers focused on you. This meeting of the minds provides each individual patient with an individualized care plan to create the path for the most successful outcome. Our approach emphasizes open communication, collaborating with each other personally and through one of the most advanced electronic medical records systems in the country.

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