Bladder Cancer

The bladder is responsible for storing urine in the body before you eliminate it. Most bladder cancers begin on the inner lining of this organ, called the urothelium. Over 75,000 people will be diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2016, most of which will be just on the bladder lining surface. A significant number of people will also have a deeper, muscle invasive bladder cancer. Some people also will have rarer types of bladder cancer starting from other cell types.

Bladder cancer forms in one of the layers of cells making up the bladder, the hollow organ in the pelvis that stores urine before it leaves the body. Most often, the cancer begins in cells of the urothelium layer, which lines the inside of the bladder, ureter, urethra and parts of the kidneys. But more rare types can develop in other cell types.

Screening and Treatment

Screening is not routine for people without symptoms. The first sign of bladder cancer is often tied to urination, including blood in the urine or changes in urination, including frequency, pain or an urgency to urinate when the bladder isn’t full. It is important to note that these can be symptoms of many different, non-cancerous conditions. If you are experiencing these symptoms, discuss with your doctor for the best evaluation to determine the cause. If cancer is detected, a multi-disciplinary team will review your case and determine the best course of treatment. Superficial cancers are often managed by your urologist. For muscle-invasive cancers, a coordinated, multidisciplinary team can review and provide a treatment plan for you.

Clinical Trials

At Lowell General Hospital, we offer clinical trials through close partnerships with Boston-based hospitals and the National Cancer Institute to help find safer and more effective approaches to prevention, screening, diagnosis and treatment of your cancer. Learn more about the current clinical trials available here

Resources and Education

At Lowell General Hospital, our multidisciplinary team of cancer professionals is committed to supporting your mental and physical health through every step of diagnosis, treatment and recovery. From dedicated physicians and nurses to social workers and support groups, the Cancer Center at Lowell General Hospital has several resources for you and your family, all close to home. Learn more about our resources to support your care here

Keeping You Connected!

There are a number of ways to stay up to date with Lowell General Hospital. Learn more about the latest health topics from our medical experts, participate in a class or a support group, review current hospital news, and take advantage of our many resources.