is a hollow organ
in the lower part of the abdomen
that is shaped like a small balloon and has a muscular wall that allows it to get larger or smaller. The bladder stores urine
until it is passed out of the body. Urine is the liquid waste that is made by the kidneys
when they clean the blood
. The urine passes from the two kidneys into the bladder through two tubes called ureters
. When the bladder is emptied during urination, the urine goes from the bladder to the outside of the body through another tube called the urethra
There are three main types of bladder cancer
that begin in cells
in the lining of the bladder. These cancers
are named for the type of cells that become malignant
Cancer that is confined to the lining of the bladder is called superficial
bladder cancer. Cancer that begins in the transitional cells may spread through the lining of the bladder and invade the muscle wall of the bladder or spread to nearby organs and lymph nodes
; this is called invasive
bladder cancer. Fortunately, two-thirds of newly-diagnosed bladder cancers occur only on the lining of the bladder (superficial bladder cancer) and can be treated effectively by the urologic surgeons at The University of Kansas Hospital.
Blood in the urine (called hematuria) is usually the first sign of bladder cancer. Other symptoms, which may not be recognized initially, include the need to urinate frequently both day and night, and the inability to hold the urine once the urge to urinate occurs. A simple test called cystoscopy can usually diagnose the cancer. Our physicians are experts in the diagnosis of bladder cancer as well as its treatment. In addition, we employ a number of methods to keep those with superficial bladder cancer from recurring.
For those patients with invasive cancer (into the muscle wall of the bladder), surgery to remove the entire bladder (cystectomy) is often needed. Our urologic oncologists will employ options to preserve the bladder when possible (bladder sparing), however, if removal is needed, our physicians are among the nation’s most experienced.
For patients whose bladder must be removed, surgeons must create a new way for the body to store and empty urine. The our urologic oncologists are well versed in the different urinary diversion options. One such option performed by our urologists is the construction of a “new” bladder using intestine, called a neobladder. This allows patients to urinate in a normal fashion. We have had good success with these reconstructive techniques since their inception.
Unfortunately, some patients will have bladder cancer that has spread beyond the bladder (to the lungs, liver or bones) prior to surgery or after the removal of the bladder.