Urinary Bladder Cancer Surgery

Bladder cancer occurs in the tissues of the bladder, which is the organ in the body that holds urine.

3 Types of bladder cancer

1.       Transitional cell carcinoma

Transitional cell carcinoma is the most common type of bladder cancer. It begins in the transitional cells in the inner layer of the bladder. Transitional cells are cells that change shape without becoming damaged when the tissue is stretched.

2.       Squamous cell carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinoma is a rare cancer . It begins when thin, flat squamous cells form in the bladder after a long-term infection or irritation in the bladder.

3.       Adenocarcinoma

Adenocarcinoma is also a rare cancer . It begins when glandular cells form in the bladder after long-term bladder irritation and inflammation. Glandular cells are what make up the mucus-secreting glands in the body.


What are the symptoms of bladder cancer?

Many people with bladder cancer can have blood in their urine but no pain while urinating. There are a number of symptoms that might indicate bladder cancer like fatigue, weight loss, and bone tenderness, and these can indicate more advanced disease. You should pay particular attention to the following symptoms:

1.       blood in the urine

2.       painful urination

3.       frequent urination


What causes bladder cancer?

The exact cause of bladder cancer is unknown. It occurs when abnormal cells grow and multiply quickly and uncontrollably, and invade other tissues.


Who is at risk for bladder cancer?

Smoking increases your risk of bladder cancer. Smoking causes half of all bladder cancers in men and women. The following factors also increase your risk of developing bladder cancer:


1.       exposure to cancer-causing chemicals

2.       chronic bladder infections

3.       low fluid consumption



4.       having a family history of bladder cancer

5.       having previous treatment with a chemotherapy drug called Cytoxan

6.       having previous radiation therapy to treat cancer in the pelvic area


How is bladder cancer diagnosed?

Your doctor may diagnose bladder cancer using one or more of the following methods:

1.        urinalysis

2.       an internal examination, which involves your doctor inserting gloved fingers into your vagina or rectum to feel for lumps that may indicate a cancerous growth

3.       cystoscopy, which involves your doctor inserting a narrow tube that has a small camera on it through your urethra to see inside your bladder

4.       biopsy in which your doctor inserts a small tool through your urethra and takes a small sample of tissue from your bladder to test for cancer

5.       CT scan to view the bladder

How is bladder cancer treated?

Your doctor will work with you to decide what treatment to provide based on the type and stage of your bladder cancer, your symptoms, and your overall health.


Treatment for Low stage and Low Grade

Treatment may include surgery to remove the tumor from the bladder, chemotherapy, or immunotherapy, which involves taking a medication that causes your immune system to attack the cancer cells.


Treatment for High stage and High Grade

Treatment may include:


1.       removal of part of the bladder in addition to chemotherapy

2.       removal of the whole bladder, which is a radical cystectomy, followed by surgery to create a new way for urine to exit the body

3.       chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or immunotherapy that can be done to shrink the tumor before surgery, to treat the cancer when surgery isn’t an option, to kill remaining cancer cells after surgery, or to prevent the cancer from recurring



Because doctors don’t yet know what causes bladder cancer, it may not be preventable in all cases. The following factors and behaviors can reduce your risk of getting bladder cancer:

1.       not smoking

2.       avoiding second hand cigarette smoke

3.       avoiding other carcinogenic chemicals

4.       drinking plenty of water

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