Bladder cancer is one of the most common urothelial malignancies in the United States among patients with cancer. It can effect the bladder, but also extend into the upper urinary tract. It presents with both a localized and more advanced stage for which there are varying treatments for that malignancy.
Unfortunately, bladder cancer can present very insidiously. Often times patients may have no symptoms, but the most common symptom would involve blood in the urine.
Typically bladder cancer is diagnosed on cystoscopy. That is a procedure where a urologist will actually evaluate the bladder and often times identify a tumor during that procedure.
Fortunately, there have been major advances in the treatment of bladder cancer in the last few years. The use of immunotherapeutic agents, which harness our own immune system to attack tumors, has been shown to be beneficial in patients with more advanced bladder cancers. In addition, targeted treatments are becoming more and more common, and we expect to have more treatments in the coming years.