What is bladder cancer?
Bladder cancer is cancer that begins in the bladder. The bladder is a hollow organ in the pelvis that stores urine before it leaves the body.
The bladder wall is made of several layers. Most bladder cancers begin in a layer called the urothelium, which lines the inside of the ureter, bladder, urethra and parts of the kidneys. Cancer may also develop in other types of cells in the bladder.
Bladder cancer incidence
Approximately 69,000 new cases of bladder cancer were diagnosed in the United States in 2011, and approximately 14,990 deaths were due to bladder cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. About half of all bladder cancers are diagnosed when they are still confined to the inner layers of the bladder. A diagnosis is almost always made before the cancer has spread to distant sites.