Bladder Cancer

Bladder CancerThe bladder is a grapefruit-sized elastic organ that stores urine. Bladder cancer occurs when cancer cells form in the tissues of the bladder.

Bladder Cancer: What You Need to Know

Bladder cancer may not be completely preventable. However, there are a few steps you can take to lower your risk:


  • Quit smoking
  • Be careful if you work with chemicals
  • Choose healthy foods and drinks
  • Colorful fruits and vegetables are high in antioxidants , which may help reduce cancer risk
  • Drink plenty of water daily  


Our team uses the latest technology for bladder cancer treatment , including robotic surgery, a minimally invasive procedure that reduces your recovery time and risk of complications.

What is Bladder Cancer?

More than 67,000 new cases of bladder cancer are diagnosed in the United States every year. It is the fourth most common cancer among men and ninth among women in the U.S. Fortunately most people with bladder cancer will not die of the disease, but it does claim about 13,000 lives each year.

The exact cause of bladder cancer isn’t always clear, but several factors can increase your risk of developing it, including:

  • Smoking
  • Age - the risk increases as you age
  • Race - caucasians (white)
  • Gender - men develop bladder cancer more often than women
  • Chemical exposure: arsenic and other chemicals used to make:
    • Dyes
    • Rubber
    • Leather
    • Textiles
    • Paint
  • Previous cancer treatments - pelvic radiation or the drug cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan)
  • Taking any diabetes drugs including pioglitazone (Actos) for more than one year
  • Repeated urinary infections or inflammations from long-term use of a urinary catheter or the parasitic infection known as schistosomiasis
  • Personal or family history of bladder cancer

Bladder Cancer Symptoms

Bladder cancer symptoms include:

  • Blood in the urine
  • Frequent urination
  • Painful urination
  • Back pain
  • Pelvic pain

You know your body best. If you have any of the symptoms described above, see your doctor.

Bladder Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment

Most bladder cancers are diagnosed at an early stage, when it’s highly treatable, but even early-stage bladder cancer is likely to recur.  That’s why bladder cancer survivors often undergo follow-up tests for years after treatment.

Fletcher Allen’s physicians are highly trained in performing robotic surgery for bladder cancer, and treat bladder cancer on a regular basis .

Learn more about bladder cancer treatment.

Find a Fletcher Allen physician or call 802-847-2884.

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