Bladder cancer care
Allina Health offers comprehensive, expert care in the prevention, detection and treatment of bladder cancer. We have an entire team of health care providers who will work closely with you through every step of your bladder cancer care.
Bladder cancer is a cancer that starts in the bladder. Your bladder is in the lower abdomen, and it holds and releases urine. About 71,000 new cases of bladder cancer are diagnosed in the United States each year. The good news is that bladder cancer is very treatable when diagnosed in early stages.
Bladder cancer often starts from the cells that line the inside of the bladder. In later stages, it can spread into the walls of the bladder, making it more difficult to treat.
Diagnosis of bladder cancer
At Allina Health, you will be seen by a team of cancer care specialists to diagnose bladder cancer. Your team will include your primary care provider, who will perform a physical exam, including a rectal and pelvic exam.
Other tests that may be given by members of your health care team include:
- abdominal and pelvic CT (computed tomography) scans
- abdominal and other MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans
- bone scan
- chest X-ray
- CT urogram (contrast is injected and travels through your kidneys, ureters and bladder and shows up on an X-ray)
- cystoscopy (examining the inside of the bladder with a camera) with biopsy
- intravenous pyelogram (IVP) (contrast is injected and travels through your urinary system and shows up on an X-ray)
- PET (positron emission tomography) scan
- Urinalysis (urine test)
- urine cytology (looks for abnormal cells in your urine)
Bladder cancer treatment options
Your cancer care team will work with you to develop your cancer treatment plan. The plan is unique to your type of cancer, the stage of the cancer, the risk of the cancer coming back and your general health. Your plan could include any of these cancer treatment options:
- surgery: removal of cancerous tissues and sometimes some normal tissue around it
- chemotherapy: powerful medicines to destroy cancer cells, control their growth or relieve symptoms such as pain
- radiation therapy: doses of radiation, either internal or external, to kill cancer cells in the body
- immunotherapy: medicines designed to target specific features of cancer cells and stop them from growing and spreading
Source: Allina Health Cancer Institute
Reviewed by: Christian Squillante, MD
First published: 10/11/2019
Last reviewed: 11/1/2021