Bladder cancer is a cancer that starts in the bladder. The bladder is the body part that holds and releases urine. It is in the center of the lower abdomen.
Transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder; Urothelial cancer
In the United States, bladder cancer often starts from the cells lining the bladder. These cells are called transitional cells.
These tumors are classified by the way they grow:
- Papillary tumors look like warts and are attached to a stalk.
- Nonpapillary (sessile) tumors are flat. They are much less common. But they are more invasive and have a worse outcome.
The exact cause of bladder cancer is not known. But several things may make you more likely to develop it:
- Cigarette smoking: Smoking greatly increases the risk of developing bladder cancer. Up to half of all bladder cancers in men and several in women may be caused by cigarette smoke.
- Chemical exposure at work: About 1 in 4 cases of bladder cancer is caused by coming into contact with cancer-causing chemicals at work. These chemicals are called carcinogens. Dye workers, rubber workers, aluminum workers, leather workers, truck drivers, and pesticide applicators are at the highest risk.
- Chemotherapy: The chemotherapy drug cyclophosphamide may increase the risk for bladder cancer. Your doctor may prescribe a medicine to reduce this risk.
- Radiation treatment: Women who had radiation therapy to treat cervical cancer have an increased risk of developing bladder cancer.
- Bladder infection: A long-term (chronic) bladder infection or irritation may lead to a certain type of bladder cancer.
Research has not shown clear evidence that using artificial sweeteners leads to bladder cancer.