Around 74,000 Americans are diagnosed with bladder cancer, and approximately 17,000 people die of the disease, each year. 

The bladder is the small balloon-shaped organ in your pelvis that holds urine produced by your kidneys until you’re ready to release it. Bladder cancer occurs when abnormal cells develop and multiply rapidly in your bladder. Your risk of bladder cancer is likely higher if you smoke or have a job with high exposure to chemicals or radiation. If you have chronic urinary tract infections or cystitis, your chances of developing bladder cancer increase. Anyone can develop bladder cancer, but men over the age of 40 are most likely to get the disease.

Diagnosis: Your urologist begins with a physical exam and review of your medical history and symptoms. If they think you might have bladder cancer, additional tests like urinalysis, CT scans, or cystoscopy, may be ordered. During a cystoscopy, your doctor inserts a narrow tube with a lens on its tip through your urethra and into your bladder. The cystoscope allows for examination of the inside of your bladder for abnormal growths or tissue. A biopsy may be performed during your cystoscopy if they see suspect tissue.