Bladder Cancer

Let's Talk About Bladder Cancer

We've got the doctor-approved scoop on bladder cancer causes, symptoms, treatments, and a jillion other facts and tips that can make life with this condition easier.

    Our Pro PanelBladder Cancer

    We went to some of the nation’s top experts in bladder cancer to bring you the most up-to-date information possible.

    Hooman Djaladat, M.D. headshot.

    Hooman Djaladat, M.D.Urologic Oncologist and Associate Professor of Clinical Urology

    University of Southern California Institute of Urology
    Los Angeles
    Philippe Spiess, M.D. headshot.

    Philippe Spiess, M.D.Genitourinary Oncologist and Assistant Chief of Surgical Services

    Moffitt Cancer Center
    Tampa, FL
    Christopher M. George, M.D. headshot.

    Christopher M. George, M.D.Medical Oncologist

    Northwestern Medicine Cancer Center
    Bladder cancer medical illustration.
    Scientific Animations
    Bladder cancer by the numbers, info about how common, men vs. women, outcomes.
    Nikki Cagle
    8 bladder cancer symptoms info including blood in urine, urinary problems, weight loss.
    Nikki Cagle
    Bladder cancer treatment info including surgery, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, targeted drugs.
    Nikki Cagle

    Frequently Asked QuestionsBladder Cancer

    What causes bladder cancer?

    Smoking is the biggest risk factor, accounting for 50% of all bladder cancer cases, according to the National Institutes of Health. Another study found that workplace chemicals account for 10% of cases. The other 40% are unknown, though recurrent bladder infections may play a role.

    What is the best treatment for bladder cancer?

    It depends on the type of tumor you have, how aggressive it is, and where these tumors are located. If they are just in the bladder lining, you’ll probably have surgery (called TURBT) to get the tumors out, followed by some sort of treatment involving medications injected directly into your bladder through a catheter. When the tumor has spread into the bladder muscle and other areas, you’ll have chemotherapy before getting your bladder surgically removed. You’ll probably have chemo after the surgery, too.

    What is the first sign of bladder cancer?

    In 90% of cases, it’s blood in the urine, whether you can see it or not. The good news is that it’s an early sign, since tumors in the bladder bleed easily.

    How common is bladder cancer?

    It’s the sixth most common cancer, with about 81,000 new cases expected in 2020. But it’s way more common in men than women—four times as many men get it—and more likely to occur when you are 55 and older.

    Linda Rodgers

    Linda Rodgers


    Linda Rodgers is a former magazine and digital editor turned writer, focusing on health and wellness.