Bladder Cancer: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

In 2004, bladder cancer was the 4th most prevalent cancer in men and the 11th most prevalent cancer in women.1

For 2015, the American Cancer Society estimates that there will be around 74,000 new cases diagnosed and 16,000 deaths from bladder cancer. Of these, 72% will be men.2

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) define cancer as “a term for diseases in which abnormal cells divide without control and can invade nearby tissues.”3 Cancer can affect all organs of the body, including the bladder – the organ that collects urine from the kidneys prior to its elimination from the body through urination.

The abnormal cells may form into a mass called a tumor, which can be either benign or malignant. Malignant tumors can be a severe threat to a person’s health and can grow back even after removal. As well as damaging nearby tissues and organs, they are also able to spread to other parts of the body.4

Contents of this article:

What is bladder cancer?
Causes of bladder cancer
Symptoms of bladder cancer
Tests and diagnosis
Treatments for bladder cancer
You will also see introductions at the end of some sections to any recent developments that have been covered by MNT’s news stories. Also look out for links to information about related conditions.

Fast facts on bladder cancer
Here are some key points about bladder cancer. More detail and supporting information is in the main article.
Around nine out of 10 people diagnosed with bladder cancer are aged over 55.
Smokers are around three times more likely to develop bladder cancer than non-smokers.
The most common symptom of bladder cancer is hematuria.
Bladder cancer shares many of symptoms with other less severe illnesses, such as bladder infections.
The US Preventive Services Task Force advises against routine screening to diagnose bladder cancer.
Bladder cancer is often diagnosed using imaging tests and cystoscopies.
There are five different stages in severity for bladder cancer, with about 50% of cases diagnosed in the early non-invasive stage, and 35% diagnosed while the cancer is still contained in the bladder.
In about 4% of cases, diagnosis is made after cancer originating in the bladder has spread to distant tissues.
Bladder cancer can be treated with surgery, drugs and radiation therapy.
People who develop bladder cancer are at a high risk of developing the disease for a second time.
Although there is no guaranteed way to prevent bladder cancer, there are many ways to reduce the risk of it developing.
What is bladder cancer?2,5,6
Bladder cancer is a form of cancer that commonly begins in the cells lining the bladder, also known as transitional epithelium.

As with all cancers, it can develop into a life-threatening illness – though most cases of bladder cancer (about 50%) are diagnosed at an early stage when the disease is highly treatable.

Urine sample
Hematuria is the most common symptom of bladder cancer. Some cases of bladder cancer can only be detected through urine testing.
Bladder cancer is most commonly found in older people, with people over 55 making up about 90% of diagnosed cases. The average age at which bladder cancer is diagnosed is 73 years.

Men are around 3-4 times more likely to develop bladder cancer than women, and the chances of a man getting bladder cancer in his life are 1 in 26 (1 in 90 for women).

White people are diagnosed with bladder cancer almost twice as often as black people, however black people are more likely to have an advanced form of the cancer by the time they are diagnosed.

The most common type of bladder cancer is transitional cell carcinoma (TCC). This form accounts for around 90% of bladder cancers and originates in the urothelial cells that line the inside of the bladder. These cells also line other parts of the urinary tract, meaning that TCC can also arise in the lining of the kidneys, ureters and the ureters. As such, anyone diagnosed with this type of bladder cancer will usually have the rest of their urinary tract assessed for tumors.

TCCs are classified as invasive and non-invasive, depending on whether they remain in the epithelium (lining) of the bladder, or have spread deeper into the lamina propria or muscle layer. The more invasive the cancer, the harder it is to treat.

TCCs are further divided into two types:

Papillary carcinomas – these grow in thin projections from the inner surface of the bladder toward the hollow center. They are non-invasive papillary cancers, and very low-grade, non-invasive types tend to have a very good outcome as they have a low likelihood of malignancy.
Flat carcinomas – these do not grow toward the hollow part of the bladder, and are known as a non-invasive flat carcinoma or a flat carcinoma in situ (CIS) if they remain in the inner layer of bladder cells.
There are several other types of cancer that can originate in the bladder, all of which are much less common than transitional cell (urothelial) cancer. These include:

Squamous cell carcinoma: This form accounts for about 1-2% of bladder cancers. It arises in the squamous cells, which are thin, flat cells like those that make up the surface of the skin. Almost all squamous cell cancers are invasive.
Adenocarcinoma: This form accounts for about 1% of bladder cancers. It occurs in the cells of the mucus-secreting glands found in the bladder and has similarities to colon cancer. Almost all adenocarcinomas of the bladder are invasive.
Small cell carcinoma: This form accounts for less than 1% of bladder cancers. It arises in the nerve-like cells called neuroendocrine cells. This form often grows quickly and requires treatment with chemotherapy (as with small cell carcinoma of the lung).
Sarcoma: This is a rare form of bladder cancer that originates in the muscle cells of the bladder.
Causes of bladder cancer7,8
The cause of bladder cancer remains unknown, although certain risk factors for the disease have been identified. Smoking is the most important risk factor, with smokers at least three times more likely to develop bladder cancer than non-smokers.

Bladder cancer risk factors include:

Bladder defects from birth
Chemotherapy and radiation therapy
Chronic bladder infections and irritations
Exposure to certain chemicals including aromatic amines
Low fluid consumption
Personal or family history of bladder cancer
Being male and/or white (women have lower rates of bladder cancer, as do African-Americans, Hispanics, Asian-Americans, and Native Americans
Some medications and dietary supplements – pioglitazone (Actos) and aristolochic acid (mainly from plants in the Aristolochia family)
Exposure to arsenic in drinking water (not normally a problem in the US).
Exposure to these risk factors does not guarantee that bladder cancer will develop. Likewise, bladder cancer can still develop in the absence of all of these risk factors. They have merely been found to increase the chances of the disease occurring.

People who work in the following industries or who have the following professions also have an increased risk of bladder cancer, likely due to exposure to certain chemicals:

Manufacturing of rubber, leather, textiles and paint products
Truck drivers.
Those who smoke and work in one of these industries have an especially high risk of bladder cancer as the carcinogenic effects are often compounded.

Recent developments on bladder cancer causes from MNT news
Is hair dye to blame for hairdressers’ increased risk of bladder cancer?
A new study in Occupational & Environmental Medicine has linked the frequency of dye and perm use to raised levels of carcinogens found in hairdressers’ blood.
‘Many cancer survivors continue to smoke,’ study shows
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking can cause cancer almost anywhere in the body. It is also known to decrease the effectiveness of cancer treatments, reduce survival time and increase the probability of recurrence. Despite all this, a new study has found that smoking habits can continue long after a cancer diagnosis has been made.


Types Of cancer

Causes of Cancer

What Causes Cancer?

Cancer is a complex group of diseases with many possible causes. In this section you can learn more about the known causes of cancer, including genetic factors; lifestyle factors such as tobacco use, diet, and physical activity; certain types of infections; and environmental exposures to different types of chemicals and radiation.

Little Asian girl looks up at her father

Genetics and Cancer

Some types of cancer run in certain families, but most cancers are not clearly linked to the genes we inherit from our parents. In this section you can learn more about the complex links between genes and cancer, as well as genetic testing and how it is used.

Close up of the no smoking sign

Tobacco and Cancer

In this section you can get information on cigarette, cigar, and smokeless tobacco use, and learn how it affects different groups of people.

Close up of man and woman's legs walking

Diet and Physical Activity

Get the facts on how diet, physical activity, excess body weight, and alcohol use may affect your risk of cancer.

Man and woman soaking up sun on the beach

Sun and UV Exposure

In this section you can learn more about the link between too much sun exposure and cancer.

Close up of man examining an xray

Other Carcinogens

Learn about some of the environmental causes of cancer that may lurk in our homes, at work, in pollution, and even in some medical tests and treatments. You can also learn how some types of infections are linked to cancer.

Roles of Financial Secretary in an Organisation

The financial secretary is an elected officer authorized to receive all monies collected by the PTA. Some responsibilities of the office are specified in the unit bylaws; others are established by council, district PTA and California State PTA procedures. The financial secretary may be a member of the budget committee.

What to Do

  • Upon taking office, obtain all audited unit PTA financial secretary records and material from your predecessor. This should include a standardized bound ledger book, a receipt book and remittance forms (for transferring money over to the council and district PTA treasurers) and a check endorsement stamp, if available. A current copy of the California State PTA Toolkit, Finance, should be included in the procedure book/file.
  • Become familiar with all PTA procedures for handling money. These may be found in the California State PTA Toolkit, National PTA Quick-Reference Guide, Money Matters. Additional copies of California State PTA publications may be ordered from the California State PTA through the List of PTA Materials, Introduction.
  • Review the Bylaws for Local PTA/PTSA Units for stated responsibilities.
  • Receive all monies, check amounts for accuracy and issue a numbered receipt for each transaction. All receipts should be accounted for and numbered.
  • Record all receipts in a bound ledger book, indicating the date of receipt, number of receipt issued, amount, from whom received, and for what account (e.g., membership, fundraising).
  • Note any refunds or disbursements that need to be made.
  • Prepare all authorizations for payment if authorized by the executive board or the association. If not authorized to write authorizations, provide recording secretary with necessary information on refunds and disbursements to write authorizations.
  • Give the treasurer itemized bills, sales slips, and invoices for payment by check.
  • Prepare and sign authorizations for payment if required by the executive board or association.
  • Determine whether the unit bylaws require the financial secretary to immediately deposit the money in the appropriate checking or savings account or after proper accounting forward the money to the treasurer, receiving a numbered, dated receipt. If the banking is done by the financial secretary, a duplicate deposit slip and a remittance form listing the accounting of all money received shall be forwarded to the treasurer immediately.
  • Prepare a monthly financial report of all monies received, deposits made and/or authorizations for payment prepared. Distribute to the president, recording secretary and all financial officers. Keep a copy for the financial secretary’s procedure book.
  • Prepare an Annual Financial Report of all monies received during the past fiscal year. The dates of the unit fiscal year (e.g., July 1-June 30) will be found in the unit bylaws. Distribute report to the president, recording secretary and all financial officers. Keep a copy for the financial secretary’s procedure book.
  • Submit all records for audit semi-annually and at any time a financial officer resigns or no longer serves in that position, before the new officer assumes the duties, and whenever deemed necessary.
  • Attend all events where money may need to be counted.
  • Make sure that at least two people count the money together. This may include the event chairman and treasurer or financial secretary if possible.
  • Keep a record of all funds counted using the “Cash Verification Form” found in California State PTA Toolkit.
  • Ensure that all persons counting the money sign the “Cash Verification Form.”
  • Do not keep money overnight at home.
  • Money may be kept in a school safe overnight if allowed by the school principal. Refer to the financial procedures outlined in the California State PTA Toolkit.

Get Flashy

Enhance your site with widgets


Widgets are some of the handiest features on They are free built-in tools, accessible from your dashboard, that allow you to add custom touches to your sidebar or footer. You can display important information, direct readers to content you want them to see, and reinforce your site’s design. With widgets, you can add a bit of flair and personalize your site with a few clicks.

Widget basics

You can add a variety of widgets from the Customizer: go to My Sites, then click on Customize next to Themeswhich will open up the Customizer and a left-side panel of selections.


As you’ve discovered, each theme is different: some themes have a left or right sidebar, some may have a footer section at the bottom of your blog, and some themes have hidden widget areas that pop out with the click of a button. So, the placement of your widgets will depend on your current theme.

In your Customizer, click on the Widgets tab. Your theme’s available widget areas will display (and might look a bit different from this):

Widget areas

To add a widget, first click on a widget area. In the panel, click on Add a Widget. The Customizer will show all of the available widgets that you can add. This is where the fun begins!


Scroll the alphabetized list of widgets, or use the search field at the top to find one. Then, click on a widget to add it. The Customizer will then display a box to configure the widget’s settings. If you have questions about a particular widget, each one has its own support page, which you can find in the Related section on the right side of this page.

widget configuration settings

When you’ve finished updating these fields, click Close on the bottom left of the widget box. You can also reopen and update a widget using the small down-facing arrow, or remove it by clicking Delete.

You can reorder these widget panels as well — hover over one and mouse-click to select and drag it up or down, depending on where you’d like it to display. After making your changes, don’t forget to save them by hitting the blue Save & Publishbutton at the top of the panel.

Quick advice on adding widgets

Add wisely. You can add as many widgets to your sidebar or footer as you’d like, but choose carefully — the key is to display widgets that enhance your site, rather than detract attention from your content. This handy overview on design and clarity and this post about how to tackle your sidebar offer food for thought.

Starting out and not sure what to add? We recommend several widgets to start, no matter what kind of blogger you are and what type of site you have. The Textand Image Widgets are the simplest and most straightforward widgets out there, but are very powerful and versatile. With a Text Widget, you can display a mix of text and HTML, which is handy for a bite-sized bio, important business information, or a quick update for your readers.

text widget

An Image Widget lets you show a custom image that you’ve uploaded to your media library, so you can display your new book’s cover, for example, and link the image to your book’s Amazon, Goodreads, or other page. An Image Widget is a great way to feature a category visually, and directs your readers to this content quickly.

image widget

Other handy widgets perform more specific functions: the Top Posts & Pages Widgetdisplays your most liked or popular content, while the Follow Blog Widget allows visitors to sign up and receive your posts via email.

On the widgets support page, you’ll find a list of all available widgets on the right side, in case you want information on a specific widget. This roundup of widget resources is also a great place to explore quick widget tutorials.

Show and hide widgets. Once you have your widgets in place, you can adjust their settings to display on specific pages of your blog using the Widget Visibility feature. When editing a widget, you’ll see a Visibility button at the bottom right. Configure the settings to show (or hide) a widget on a specific page; or category, tag, or author page, for example. It’s a handy tool offering more control over what a reader will see when viewing a certain page. This tutorial on widget visibility explains some cases where the setting might be helpful for you.

In case you need more guidance…

You’ve got a lot of widgets to choose from! For more on working with widgets, here are some resources to dig into:

  1. Want to connect your social accounts right away? Activate your Facebook,Instagram, and Twitter Timeline Widgets.
  2. Get to know popular widgets in our tutorial series: Widgets 101, 201, and 301.
  3. Interested in adding more visuals to your sidebar? Consider these image-focused widgets.
  4. Learn how to create your own custom Image Widget with this step-by-step tutorial.

You’ve spent the past several sessions customizing your site — it’s coming along! Next, in Get Connected, we’ll switch gears and talk about ways to connect with others and get your site noticed. You’ve worked so hard to make it your own — now it’s time to show it to the world!

Get a Homepage


You can easily turn your blog into a website, with a static homepage that people will land on every time they arrive. Combine a homepage with other static pages and somecustom menus to help visitors navigate, and before you can say “Told you so!” you’ve got a website.

Create your homepage

Start off by creating the page you’d like to use as your homepage. Go to My Sites → Pages → Add. Call it “Home.” Don’t worry about writing it yet — we’re just getting your website set up here. Stick in a bit of placeholder text if you’d like.

Now, create a second, blank page by going once again to My Sites → Pages → Add and call it something like “News,” or “Blog,” or “Posts” — a name that will help you remember that this is the page on which your posts will appear.

To designate your static homepage, go to My Sites → Customize → Static Front Page:


Then, under Front page displays, choose Static page. Next, click on the Front pagedropdown list and select the “Home” page you created as your static homepage:


Next, on the Posts page dropdown, select the “Posts” page you created. (This is where your new blog posts will appear, should you choose to write posts for your site.)


Last, click on Save & Publish for these changes to take effect.

Now, when you go to your web address, you’ll see your new homepage rather than blog posts. Granted, you’re looking at either a blank page or some placeholder text, but still! You’ve built a website. Kudos.

Make your homepage beautiful

Now that you’ve laid the technical foundations for a static homepage, it’s really just a matter of deciding how to present it in a compelling way. Here are a few ideas:

  • Create a gallery, single full-width image, or slideshow to show off some of your best work. We cover this in Get Flashy.
  • Create a welcome message and linked list of your favorite posts.
  • Go wild with images, text, galleries, and media that set the tone for your site.

Making your homepage work for you

If you want your homepage to really serve your interests, make sure that you think about including:

  • A clear, custom menu pointing to your best content, pages, and blog categories. You’ll learn all about that in Get Published.
  • An arresting visual look, from header to custom colors and fonts. You’ll learn how to put those into action in Get Configured.
  • Some useful widgets in the sidebar of your blog, to help people find their way around or get an at-a-glance picture of what your site or blog is all about. You can learn about setting up and getting the best out of widgets in Get Flashy.

That’s it — you should now have a static homepage that transforms your site from simple blog to beautiful website.


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