About Bladder Cancer

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In early 2009, UCLA launched the Institute of Urologic Oncology, a first-of-its-kind, patient-centered institute dedicated to developing leading-edge therapies for the treatment of urological cancers, including bladder cancer.

Bladder cancer care at UCLA is facilitated by the Urologic Oncology Program. Below you can learn more about bladder cancer. We also provide direct links for both patients or healthcare professionals to information pages about our program and services for bladder cancer.

Types of Bladder Cancer

Bladder cancer is marked by the formation of malignant (cancerous) cells in the tissues of the bladder. The bladder is an organ located in the lower abdomen that is used to store urine. Bladder cancer occurs when uncontrolled growth and malignancy develops from cells originating from the bladder lining or urothelium.

Bladder cancer is the fourth most common cancer in men and the eighth most common cancer in women. According to the American Cancer Society’s 2009 statistics, more than 70,000 new cases of bladder cancer are diagnosed in the United States each year, and the current annual death toll exceeds 14,000.

Transitional Cell Carcinoma

More than 90 percent of bladder cancers in the United States are classified as this form of bladder cancer. Transitional cell carcinoma arises from the bladder’s inner lining or urothelium.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

This type of bladder cancer involves the thin, flat cells of the bladder. Squamous cell carcinoma is usually associated with chronic inflammation and can be caused by a parasitic infection (Schistosoma haematobium that is not found in the United States ) and comprises about 8 percent of bladder cancer cases.

Adenocarcinoma

This form of bladder cancer begins in the cells that release mucus and other fluids and can arise from remnants of the umbilical cord.