Bladder Cancer: A Guide for Patients

Guides for Patients are designed to assist patients, their relatives and caregivers to better understand the nature of different types of cancer and evaluate the best available treatment choices.

What is bladder cancer?

Bladder cancer is a cancer that forms in tissues of the bladder – an organ which function is to store urine. The most frequent type of bladder cancers begins in cells that normally form the inner lining of the bladder and it is called transitional cell carcinoma. Other types include squamous cell carcinoma - a bladder cancer that begins in thin, flat cells in the lining of the bladder, and adenocarcinoma - a type of cancer that begins in cells from the bladder lining that release mucus.

Beyond a definition of bladder cancer, in this guide for patients you will find answers to questions such as:   

  • Is bladder cancer frequent?
  • What causes bladder cancer?
  • How is bladder cancer diagnosed?
  • What is it important to know to know to define the optimal treatment?
  • What are the treatment options?
  • What are the possible side effects of the treatments?
  • What happens after the treatment?

This guide for patients has been prepared in collaboration with  Anti-Cancer Fund as a service to patients, to help patients and their relatives better understand the nature of Bladder Cancer and appreciate the best treatment choices available according to the subtype of Bladder Cancer. ESMO recommends that patients ask their doctors about what tests or types of treatments are needed for their type and stage of disease.

Patient Guides for Bladder Cancer were first published in 2012 and updated in March 2016.