Bladder tumor

Bladder cancer

Basic Information

What is Bladder tumor?

Abnormal tissue growth in the bladder in which cell multiplication is uncontrolled. The tumor may be benign or malignant. If malignant, it may spread to lymph nodes, bone, liver and lungs. The tumors are most prevalent in people over age 50 and are more common in men than women.

Bladder tumor signs and symptoms

  • In the early stages, there are frequently no symptoms.
  • Blood in the urine.
  • Burning on urination.
  • Increased frequency of urination, but passage of only small amounts of urine.
  • Pain in the pelvic area.
  • Unexplained weight loss (late symptom).


Unknown. Exposure to environmental carcinogens (cancer-producing substances) are the presumed cause in some cases.

Risk increases with

  • Smoking.
  • Family history of bladder tumors.
  • Exposure to naphthylamines (dyes containing aniline) or chemicals used in the manufacture of rubber.

Preventive measures

  • Avoid exposure to chemical or environmental hazards. Protective measures in these industries and regular screening of those who have been exposed in the past has reduced the incidence.
  • Don't smoke.

Expected outcomes

  • When diagnosed early, bladder cancer treatment is often successful, but recurrence is common and regular checkups are necessary.
  • When the tumor has been present for a long time, treatment outcome is poor.

Possible complications

  • Infection in the bladder or kidneys. Symptoms include back pain, fever and vomiting.
  • Urinary obstruction.

Bladder tumor treatment

General measures

  • Medical tests including urinalysis, cystoscopy (examination of the bladder with a lighted optical instrument) and X-rays of the bladder and urinary tract to confirm the diagnosis.
  • Surgery to remove the tumor or bladder. If the tumor is malignant, anticancer drugs may be instilled in the bladder during surgery. The operation may include a procedure to divert the urinary stream.
  • Radiation treatment.
  • Additional information available from the American Cancer Society.


  • Pain relievers if needed.
  • Oral anticancer drugs may be prescribed.


After surgery or other treatment, resume your normal activities (including sexual relations) once medical approval is given.


No special diet.

Notify your physician if

  • You or a family member has symptoms of a bladder tumor.
  • New, unexplained symptoms develop. Drugs used in treatment may produce side effects.

Last updated 25 June 2015


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