Oops, you're using an old version of your browser so some of the features on this page may not be displaying properly.

MINIMAL Requirements: Google Chrome 24+Mozilla Firefox 20+Internet Explorer 11Opera 15–18Apple Safari 7SeaMonkey 2.15-2.23

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 forms in cells lining the bladder. Most types of bladder cancer are urothelial carcinomas, which develop from the cells of the urothelium then grow and spread into the other layers. This guide will focus exclusively on urothelial carcinoma.

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

  • What are the symptoms of bladder cancer?
  • How common is bladder cancer?
  • What causes bladder cancer?
  • How is bladder cancer diagnosed?
  • How will my treatment be determined?
  • What are the treatment options for bladder cancer?
  • Clinical trials
  • Additional interventions
  • What are the possible side effects of treatment?
  • What happens next?
  • Support groups

This guide has been prepared to help you, your friends, family and caregivers, better understand bladder cancer and its treatment. The medical information described in this document is based on ESMO clinical practice guidelines for the management of bladder cancer. We recommend that you ask your doctor about the tests and types of treatments available in your country for your type and stage of bladder cancer.

Published in 2022.

To enquire about permission to translate or support the distribution (in English or in a translated version) of the Patient Guides series, please send an e-mail to patient_guides@esmo.org

This site uses cookies. Some of these cookies are essential, while others help us improve your experience by providing insights into how the site is being used.

For more detailed information on the cookies we use, please check our Privacy Policy.

Customise settings
  • Necessary cookies enable core functionality. The website cannot function properly without these cookies, and you can only disable them by changing your browser preferences.