• Understanding bladder cancer and your treatment
  • 1.What is bladder cancer?
  • 2.Diagnosing and treating non-mascle invasive(superficial) bladder cancer
  • 3.Your Mitomycin-C treatment
  • 4.What are the side effects?
  • 5.What else should I know?
  • 6.What happens next?
  • Useful links
  1. Top >
  2. for Patients >
  3. 1.What is bladder cancer?

1 What is bladder cancer?

All parts of your body are made from different types of cells - the 'building blocks of life'.
The growth and replacement of cells is normally controlled to keep everything in balance.
Sometimes, though, mistakes are made and the balance between new and old cells is lost, with too many new ones being made and not enough old ones being replaced. Eventually this leads to a mass of extra cells called a tumour.

Non-cancerous or benign tumours

Cells in benign tumours do not spread to other areas of the body, but may continue to grow in size.

Cancerous or malignant tumours

Cells in malignant tumours continue to grow too, but may also spread from their original site to other parts of the body where they may continue to grow and form another tumour called a metastasis.

Bladder cancer may be treated in many different ways depending on two important pieces of information - the tumour grade and stage; these terms are explained over the next few pages.

Grading bladder cancer

Grading a tumour, by looking at the cells under a microscope, allows your doctor to know how aggressive the tumour is and how likely it is to grow back.

In Europe bladder cancers are usually graded into three classes or categories:

  • Grade 1 tumours are the least aggressive and are less likely to spread
  • Grade 2 tumours are moderately aggressive
  • Grade 3 tumours are the most aggressive and more likely to grow and spread

To Page Top