The bladder is a hollow, muscular, balloon-like organ with a flexible wall. It is situated in the pelvis and collects and stores urine. Bladder cancer starts in the bladder lining (urothelium) but can then spread to deeper bladder layers.

The urinary tract

  • The kidneys produce urine. This is transferred to the bladder by thin tubes called ureters.
  • A urine-proof lining (urothelium) covers the inside of the bladder and stops urine going back into the body.
  • The lining cells are called urothelial or transitional cells.
  • When the bladder is full, its muscles contract and push urine into the urethra.
  • In women, the urethra is a very short tube that ends just in front of the vagina.
  • In men, the urethra is longer. It passes through the prostate gland and ends at the tip of the penis.

Diagram of the male urinary system
Diagram of the male urinary system

Diagram of the female urinary system
Diagram of the female urinary system

Bladder cancer risk

  • Worldwide, bladder cancer is the tenth most common cancer.
  • It is four times more common in men than women, however it's often diagnosed later in women leading to a lower overall survival rate.
  • It usually affects older adults, but can occur at any age.
  • It is most common in men aged 55+ years.
  • It is rare in people aged less than 40 years.

Bladder cancer often recurs

  • Most bladder cancers are diagnosed at an early stage, when they are highly treatable.
  • Even early-stage cancers are likely to recur.
  • Patients who survive bladder cancer require follow-up testing for many years after their first treatment.

Bladder cancer: superficial or invasive?

  • The bladder wall has several layers from inside to out (see Diagram):
    • Urothelium.
    • Lamina propria - a thin layer of connective tissue beneath the urothelium.
    • Muscularis propria - a muscle layer.
    • Fatty connective tissue.
  • Almost all bladder cancers start in the urothelium.
  • If bladder cancer affects only the urothelium it is called superficial.
  • Bladder cancers may spread into deeper bladder layers; they are then more difficult to treat.

If bladder cancer spreads to the muscle layer it is called invasive.

Diagram of Urethra

Detecting bladder cancer

Detecting bladder cancer early helps patients receive the care they need before their condition becomes serious. As a result, it's essential to consult a medical professional if you notice any symptoms of bladder cancer, such as haematuria, or blood in the urine.

Unfortunately, many of the tests used to diagnose and detect bladder cancer involve invasive and expensive procedures. Many patients with haematuria or previous bladder cancer undergo these tests frequently.

For some patients, however, non-invasive testing options may prove just as effective. Cxbladder is one bladder test that can provide accurate results and improve the quality of life for people monitoring bladder cancer and seeking peace of mind.

What is Cxbladder?

Cxbladder is a suite of non-invasive, urine-based laboratory tests that are highly accurate, easy to use and clinically validated. Cxbladder tests measure the gene expression levels of five biomarkers in urine that effectively rule out or detect the presence of bladder cancer.

With a single urine sample, Cxbladder can provide peace of mind and positive treatment direction for patients, caregivers and doctors. For up to 60 percent of patients with haematuria, Cxbladder test results may help to rule out the need for uncomfortable, and ultimately unnecessary invasive testing procedures, such as cystoscopy. 

Learn more about Cxbladder


Last Updated: 15 Dec 2023 01:39 pm

Bladder Cancer Key Facts 2018

Bladder cancer is the 6th most common cancer in the USA. In 2018, over 81,000 people will be diagnosed for the first time. Find out more key facts about bladder cancer in this informative video.

Bladder Cancer Key Facts 2018
Bladder Cancer Key Facts 2018
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