The bladder is a hollow organ in the lower abdomen. It stores urine, the waste that is produced when the kidneys filter the blood. The bladder has a muscular wall that allows it to get larger and smaller as urine is stored or emptied. The wall of the bladder is lined with several layers of transitional cells.
Urine passes from the two kidneys into the bladder through two tubes called ureters. Urine leaves the bladder through another tube, the urethra.
What Is Cancer?
Cancer is a group of many different diseases that have some important things in common. They all affect cells, the body's basic unit of life. To understand different types of cancer, such as bladder cancer, it is helpful to know about normal cells and what happens when they become cancerous.
The body is made up of many types of cells. Normally, cells grow and divide to produce more cells only when the body needs them. This orderly process helps keep the body healthy. Sometimes cells keep dividing when new cells are not needed. These cells form a mass of extra tissue, called a growth or tumor. Tumors can be benign or malignant.
Benign tumors are not cancer. They often can be removed and, in most cases, they do not come back. Cells in benign tumors do not spread to other parts of the body. Most important, benign tumors are rarely a threat to life.
Malignant tumors are cancer. Cells in malignant tumors are abnormal and divide without control or order. These cancer cells can invade and destroy the tissues around them. Also, cancer cells can break away from a malignant tumor and enter the bloodstream or the lymphatic system. This process is the way cancer spreads from the original (primary) tumor to form new tumors in other parts of the body. The spread of cancer is called metastasis.
Most cancers are named for the part of the body or type of cells in which they begin. About 90 percent of bladder cancers are transitional cell carcinomas, cancers that begin in the cells lining the bladder. Cancer that is confined to the lining of the bladder is called superficial bladder cancer. After treatment, superficial bladder cancer can recur; if this happens, most often it recurs as another superficial cancer.
In some cases, cancer that begins in the transitional cells spreads through the lining of the bladder and invades the muscular wall of the bladder. This is known as invasive bladder cancer. Invasive cancer may grow through the bladder wall and spread to nearby organs.
Bladder cancer cells may also be found in the lymph nodes surrounding the bladder. If the cancer has reached these nodes, it may mean that cancer cells have spread to other lymph nodes and to distant organs, such as the lungs. The cancer cells in the new tumor are still bladder cancer cells. The new tumor is called metastatic bladder cancer rather than lung cancer because it has the same kind of abnormal cells that were found in the bladder.
Find out other Type of Cancer here.
Bladder cancers are most likely to spread to neighboring organs and lymph nodes prior to spreading through the blood stream to the lungs, liver, bones, or other organs.
When bladder cancer spreads outside the bladder, cancer cells are often found in nearby lymph nodes.
If bladder cancer spreads to the lungs, the cancer cells in the lungs are actually bladder cancer cells. The disease is metastatic bladder cancer, not lung cancer.
Bladder cancer refers to any of several types of malignant growths of the urinary bladder. It is a disease in which abnormal cells multiply without control in the bladder.
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