Introduction to Bladder Cancer

Bladder cancer is the fourth most common cancer in men and the eighth most common in women. The incidence rate is about four times greater among men than women. It accounts for 7 percent of all cancers in men and 2 percent of those in women.

Carcinogens, along with inherited factors that inhibit some people's ability to detoxify them, seem to play a role in causing bladder cancer. For example, cigarette smokers develop bladder cancers four times as often as nonsmokers. Chronic irritation due to urinary stones and parasitic infection also are predisposing factors.

Papillary tumors are the most common type of bladder tumor and resemble a tiny mushroom with its stalk attached to the inner lining of the bladder. Several of these papillary tumors may occur at once, and they are most likely to be malignant. Solid tumors that grow directly in the lining of the bladder and can invade its muscular wall are less common.