The bladder is part of the urinary tract. Urine passes from the kidneys to the ureter and bladder and finally out the urethra. Bladder cancer is the presence of malignant cancer cells within the bladder and surrounding tissue.
Approximately 74,000 Americans will be diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2012, most over the age of 70 years old. Three times as many men will be diagnosed as women. While family history, chemical exposure, chronic irritation from long-term catheter drainage and chronic infections may play a role, smoking has been identified as a leading cause of bladder cancer.
Typical bladder cancer symptoms include blood in the urine, painful and/or frequent urination and pelvic pain. Because these symptoms are commonly associated with many different urinary conditions and ailments, it is very important to go to a doctor to be properly diagnosed.