Bladder cancer

The Royal Marsden offers a full range of bladder cancer diagnosis, treatment and care services for patients at its hospitals in Chelsea, London, and Sutton, Surrey.

Bladder cancer is where a growth of abnormal tissue, known as a tumour, develops in the bladder lining. In some cases, the tumour spreads into the surrounding muscles.

The most common symptom of bladder cancer is blood in your urine, which is usually painless. Tests to diagnose bladder cancer include a cystoscopy which is when a thin tube with a light on is put into your bladder.

Treatment of bladder cancer depends of the type of cancer the patient may have. For non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer a surgical technique called transurethral resection of a bladder tumour (TURBT) is used to remove the cancer cells, followed by a dose of chemotherapy medication directly to the bladder.

Treatment for high-risk non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer, or muscle-invasive bladder cancer may involve surgically removing the bladder in an operation known as a cystectomy. As an alternative to removing the bladder, or if surgery is not suitable, a course of radiotherapy and chemotherapy may be recommended. Chemotherapy may sometimes be used on its own before surgery or before being combined with radiotherapy.