The bladder is the organ in your body that stores urine. The majority of bladder cancers (90 to 95 percent) begin in the cells of the inner lining of the bladder and are called transitional cell carcinomas (or urothelial carcinomas).
More rare types of bladder cancers include:
- Squamous cell carcinomas, which begin in the thin, flat cells of the bladder.
- Adenocarcinomas, which begin in cells that make and release mucus and other fluids. These can develop in the inner lining of the bladder because of chronic irritation and inflammation.
- Small-cell carcinomas, which originate in signaling stem cells in the bladder.
Bladder cancer is divided into two categories: superficial (also called non-invasive), which occurs only in the lining of the bladder, and invasive (or muscle-invasive), which has spread through the bladder lining to the muscle wall. When bladder cancer spreads to other sites in the body, it is called metastatic bladder cancer.
The different types of bladder cancers require very different treatments. About 75 percent of transitional cell bladder cancers are superficial at the time of diagnosis. The remaining 25 percent of these cancers are invasive, requiring more complicated treatment. Although commonly referred to as bladder cancer, invasive transitional cell cancer can be found in the urethra, bladder, ureters, and kidneys.
SCCA offers three distinctive treatment approaches depending on the type of bladder cancer you have. Our doctors will work with you to determine which approach is the best for you.