What is Bladder Cancer?
Bladder cancer begins when cells in the urinary bladder start to grow uncontrollably. As more
cancer cells develop, they can form a tumor and spread to other areas of the body.
The bladder is a hollow organ in the pelvis with flexible, muscular walls. Its main function is to
store urine before it leaves the body. Urine is made by the kidneys and is then carried to the
bladder through tubes called ureters.
When you urinate, the muscles in the bladder contract, and urine is forced out of the bladder
through a tube called the urethra.
Symptoms of Bladder Cancer
Blood or blood clots in the urine
Pain or burning during urination
Feeling the need to urinate many times throughout the night
Feeling the need to urinate, but not being able to pass urine
Lower back pain on one side of the body
Causes of Bladder Cancer
Bladder defects from birth
Chemotherapy and radiation therapy
Chronic bladder infections and irritations
Exposure to certain chemicals including aromatic amines
Low fluid consumption
Personal or family history of bladder cancer
Being male and/or white (women have lower rates of bladder cancer, as do AfricanAmericans,
Hispanics, Asian-Americans, and Native Americans
Some medications and dietary supplements – pioglitazone (Actos) and aristolochic
acid (mainly from plants in the Aristolochiafamily)
Exposure to arsenic in drinking water (not normally a problem in the US).
Links to some studies regarding Bladder Cancer
A. The Effect of Intravesical Mitomycin C on Recurrence of
Newly Diagnosed Superficial Bladder Cancer: A Further
Report with 7 Years of Followup
B. A Combined Analysis of European Organization for
Research and Treatment of Cancer, and Medical Research
Council Randomized Clinical Trials for the Prophylactic
Treatment of Stage TaT1 Bladder Cancer