Bladder Cancer Care

Find the right path for you is what our team will do if you receive a bladder cancer diagnosis. Our oncologists will develop a personalized treatment plan specifically for you. We're here with you every step of the way.


Types of Bladder Cancer

The inside of the bladder is lined with many layers, each containing different types of cells. Sometimes, the cancer cells remain confined to the lining, not having grown into the deeper layers of the bladder. This is often called superficial bladder cancer, although it may also be referred to as noninvasive or non-muscle invasive. When cells have spread through the lining to other areas of the body it is referred to as invasive or muscle-invasive bladder cancer. 

Urothelial carcinoma, also called transitional cell carcinoma (TCC), is the most common type of bladder cancer. It begins in the urothelial cells found in the innermost tissue layer of the bladder, ureters, and other areas within the urinary tract. About 90% of bladder cancers begin in these cells. 

Less common types of bladder cancer include:

  • Squamous cell carcinoma: Cancer that begins in squamous cells, which are thin, flat cells that may form in the bladder after long-term infection or irritation.
  • Adenocarcinoma: Cancer that begins in glandular (secretory) cells that may form in the bladder after long-term irritation and inflammation.
  • Sarcoma: Cancer that begins in the fat or muscle layers of the bladder wall.
  • Small-cell carcinoma: A rare type of bladder cancer that begins in neuroendocrine cells. This type of bladder cancer is likely to spread to other parts of the body.

Your specific bladder cancer type will be diagnosed based upon the type of cell in which it began. There can also be a sub-type based on how the cancer cells are growing:

  • Papillary carcinoma: the cancer cells grow in long, finger-like tumors starting from the inner layers of the bladder and growing towards the center, hollow area. 
  • Flat carcinoma: the cancer cells do not grow towards the center of the bladder. 

Signs & Symptoms of Bladder Cancer

The symptoms of bladder cancer can vary from person to person. The most common symptom is visible blood in the urine, called hematuria.

Bladder Cancer Risk Factors

Understanding your risk factors for developing bladder cancer, and talking about them with your doctor, may help you make more informed lifestyle and health care choices.


Specializing in Bladder Cancer Care

Our Team Is Ready to Help You and Your Family

To help make treatment decisions about your bladder cancer, it’s helpful to first consult with a medical oncologist. As a patient of Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers, you will have access to our prostate cancer specialists at any of our locations across Colorado, including Boulder, Colorado Springs, and Denver.